Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

Dazzlingly original, Ann Beattie’s Mrs. Nixon is a riveting exploration of an elusive American icon and of the fiction writer’s art.

Pat Nixon remains one of our most mysterious and intriguing public figures, the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Beattie, like many of her generation, dismissed Richard Nixon’s wife: “interchangeable with a Martian,” she said. ...
See more details below
Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.66
BN.com price

Overview

Dazzlingly original, Ann Beattie’s Mrs. Nixon is a riveting exploration of an elusive American icon and of the fiction writer’s art.

Pat Nixon remains one of our most mysterious and intriguing public figures, the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Beattie, like many of her generation, dismissed Richard Nixon’s wife: “interchangeable with a Martian,” she said. Decades later, she wonders what it must have been like to be married to such a spectacularly ambitious and catastrophically self-destructive man.

Drawing on a wealth of sources from Life magazine to accounts by Nixon’s daughter and his doctor to The Haldeman Diaries and Jonathan Schell’s The Time of Illusion, Beattie reconstructs dozens of scenes in an attempt to see the world from Mrs. Nixon’s point of view. Like Stephen King’s On Writing, this fascinating and intimate account offers readers a rare glimpse into the imagination of a writer.

Beattie, whose fiction Vanity Fair calls “irony-laced reports from the front line of the baby boomers’ war with themselves,” packs insight and humor into her examination of the First Couple with whom boomers came of age. Mrs. Nixon is a startlingly compelling and revelatory work.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reviewed by Jessamine Chan. Celebrated short story writer Beattie (The New Yorker Stories) juxtaposes a master class on writing fiction with fiction itself. Billed as a meditation on one of the most elusive first ladies in recent history, the book opens with an innocuous list of nicknames for Pat Nixon, née Thelma Ryan. How did she become President Richard Nixon’s beloved “Buddy”? Or rather, in what proves to be the book’s central question: why did she choose to marry “RN,” the man whose “self-created tragedy” determined her fate? To answer this question, while acknowledging its inherent difficulty, Beattie mixes reflections on Pat Nixon’s life, works of literature, and the creative process with short passages written from the perspectives of Mrs. Nixon, President Nixon, and even their son-in-law David Eisenhower, calling upon such texts as Jonathan Schell’s The Time of Illusion to provide a factual foundation. Though she professes not to identify with Pat Nixon, Beattie admits: “I sensed that she was something my mother might have become, if not for fate. If you married a man and that man became something else, it could trap a woman.... A lot of people liked her, but something seemed wrong because she was married to him.” In the book’s most inspired chapters, Beattie pairs the Nixons’ love story with those from great works of literature, including Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog” and Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace.” And in an experiment that few (besides Beattie) would dream up, she even funnels her subject’s voice through a series of Oulipo language games. Beattie knowingly anticipates reader skepticism, even writing some imaginary letters: “‘You obviously do not know the real Mrs. Nixon. I notice that your thoughts on her were not printed in The New Yorker.’” She thoughtfully analyzes works by a diverse range of authors—Raymond Carver, Donald Barthelme, and William Trevor, to name just a few—and cheerfully pulls back the curtain on the unglamorous, compulsive nature of a writer’s life. Fellow practitioners will especially enjoy her list of truths about writers: finding a copy of Richard Yates’s Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is akin to discovering a baby on the front step—they can’t abandon it no matter how many copies they already own; writers wear only mismatched, shamefully tattered clothing while they work. Despite Beattie’s accessible, engaging tone, the book’s biggest challenge is negotiating its shifts to fiction, since it is, after all, difficult for fiction to seem effortless when so many nonfiction chapters are about effort. After getting lost in the erudite charm of Beattie’s own voice, sections written in Pat Nixon’s voice feel almost quaint, arch without accompanying vulnerability, and containing little of the human mess and propensity for error that makes Beattie’s stories feel alive. Still, it is obvious how much fun Beattie is having with this project—an ideal book for readers who want to understand process as much as product. (Nov.) Jessamine Chan is a Reviews editor at Publishers Weekly.
From the Publisher
“Beattie has created a resplendent paean to the pleasures of the literary imagination , and a riveting and mischievous, revealing and revitalizing portrait of an overlooked woman.”—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
Library Journal
Short story writer and novelist Beattie (Chilly Scenes of Winter) here turns her attention to Pat Nixon. She incorporates interesting historical information, but her asides on narrator reliability, her comments about how she might change events if she could take part in the story, and her lengthy references to other works all will make readers acutely aware that this is a novelist's take on Mrs. Nixon's life, rather than a true biography. Beattie's comment, mid-book, that "writers tend to love people who volunteer very little, for their silence frees them to project onto them, though such characters are also confusing" is unfortunately true of this confusing work as a whole. Mrs. Nixon's actual historical silence makes her a good canvas for Beattie's questions and theories, but the reader is left with a baffling and incomplete portrait. VERDICT Although Beattie clearly did research, this is not a biography. Nor is it entirely fiction. Nor is it literary criticism, as the publisher's advance copy categorizes it. In other words, it's easy to say what it is not, but as to what it is, readers are certain to be left uncertain. Beattie's real strengths are not evident here. For Beattie completists only.—Crystal Goldman, San José State Univ. Lib., CA
Kirkus Reviews

Best known for her short fiction (The New Yorker Stories, 2010, etc.), Beattie circles around an enigmatic First Lady in an odd text that takes a lit-crit approach to a biographical subject.

The subject is Pat Nixon, the model political wife who stood silently by her husband during such humiliating episodes as Richard Nixon's "Checkers speech" and his resignation in disgrace after the Watergate scandal. Beattie conveys considerable factual information: Mrs. Nixon's birth name was Thelma; both parents were dead by the time she was 18; she acted in amateur theater and briefly considered a career in movies; she hesitated a long time before marrying Nixon; she didn't much like his being in politics; she advised him to destroy the tapes of his conversations about Watergate. The author's real interest, however, is trying to get inside the head of a woman who never wrote a memoir and kept her public comments as innocuous as possible. To this end, Beattie examines specific aspects of Pat Nixon's life and character through the lens of various short stories. Raymond Carver's deadpan tone in "Are These Actual Miles?" spurs her to see more than banality in 12-year-old Thelma's conventional remark about her mother's corpse looking beautiful. Chekhov's "The Lady with the Little Dog" shapes her view of Pat and Dick's courtship. A few bravura passages validate this approach, and a marvelous chapter entitled "The Writer's Feet Beneath the Curtain" suggests that Beattie, a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Virginia, must be a terrific teacher. She fails to convince, however, that fictional techniques are more than tangentially revealing of Pat Nixon's inner life, and chapters purporting to be narrated by the First Lady are similarly unpersuasive. There's a whiff of condescension about the whole enterprise, and when a chapter describing "My Meeting with Mrs. Nixon" [p134] is immediately followed by one titled "I Didn't Meet Her," readers may well feel that Pat isn't the only one being patronized here.

Self-indulgent though fitfully intriguing.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439168738
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 11/15/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 847,137
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Ann  Beattie
Ann Beattie has been included in four O. Henry Award Collections and in John Updike’s The Best American Short Stories of the Century. In 2000, she received the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in the short story form. In 2005, she received the Rea Award for the Short Story. She and her husband, Lincoln Perry, live in Key West, Florida, and Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.

Biography

After publishing several stories in The New Yorker, Ann Beattie burst on the literary scene in 1976 with not one, but two books -- a collection of short fiction entitled Distortions and a critically acclaimed debut novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter. Almost immediately, she was proclaimed the unofficial diarist of an entire generation, evoking the lives of feckless, young, middle-class baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s yet never really grew up, choosing instead to lug around their dashed expectations like so much excess baggage.

Indeed, Beattie's fiction is filled with such unhappy characters -- intelligent, well-educated people whose lives are steeped in disappointment and a vague sense of despair. Failed relationships, nostalgia for the past, and the inability to reconcile youthful idealism with the demands of adult life are recurring themes in short story collections like Secrets and Surprises (1978), What Was Mine (1991), and Park City (1998), as well as novels such as Falling in Place (1981), Love Always (1985), and Another You (1995).

Yet, Beattie vehemently denies that she set out to chronicle an era or to describe a particular demographic. ''I do not wish to be a spokesperson for my generation,'' she told The New York Times in 1985. She explained further (in the literary magazine Ploughshares) that she simply wrote about the people who surrounded her -- refugees from the '60s, bewildered by the real world and longing to return to the seductive counterculture of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

A writer of spare, elegant, whip-smart prose, Beattie has been classified as a minimalist, a label she rejects as reductive. In many ways, though, her writing fits the bill. Her stories, like those of minimalism's famous poster boy (and Beattie's good friend) Raymond Carver, are composed of simple, declarative sentences teeming with irony and finely observed detail; also like Carver, she is a nonjudgmental narrator, completely detached from her characters and their actions and meting out contextual clues to be interpreted by the reader. However, as she has matured as a writer, she has traded in strict minimalism for a more realistic style, endowing her characters with emotions (and something of an inner life!) and rendering her fiction more fully "human."

Occasionally, Beattie has come under attack for loading her stories with brand names and pop culture references. But even this use of "Kmart realism" seems not to have dimmed her light. Reviewing her 2008 anthology Follies for The New York Times, David Means had this to say: "[W]hen Beattie's work is clicking her stories are wonderful to behold. Her best work ... will endure long after so much of what we know now -- the brand names, television shows and quick-shop stores -- is gone."

Good To Know

Beattie's first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, was adapted into a film by Joan Micklin Silver starring John Heard and Mary Beth Hurt. It was first released in 1979 as Head Over Heels with an unsatisfying, tacked-on happy ending. Audiences were lukewarm. In 1982, the movie was re-released under the novel's title and with an ending that matched the book. This version was a success.

Beattie is married to the painter Lincoln Perry. In 2005 the two collaborated on a retrospective of Perry's paintings entitled Lincoln Perry's Charlottesville, boasting a long essay and interview by Beattie.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Maine and Key West, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 8, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Education:
      B.A., American University, 1969; M.A., University of Connecticut, 1970

Read an Excerpt

Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life by Ann Beattie

Reading Sample

A note on the book: What you will read is based on research. There is a chronology appended that will allow the reader to know when certain events or moments in Mrs. Nixon’s life occurred. Also, at the back of the book, there are end notes that serve as footnotes of individual sections. I imagine dialogue to which I had no access; I do my best to write as I think my characters would think and speak, based on what I’ve read about them. In some cases, factual events are used only as a point of departure, which should become clear; those times I write fiction will be recognizable as such. The majority of events, letters, and names are real. (As a young man, Richard Nixon did date Ola Florence Welch; King Timahoe was the Nixon’s dog; Henry Kissinger was Secretary of State.) My readings of many texts, from a story by de Maupassant to the play The Romantic Age, are conveyed as I understand them.

***

Stories as Pre-emptive Strikes

Mrs. Nixon (before she was Mrs. Nixon) had many nicknames, and one of them was “Buddy.” She liked the nickname because she felt her given name did not suit her. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would be thrilled to be named Thelma. Her mother insisted on naming her that for reasons unknown. The baby’s father – who maintained she had been born later than the time of her actual birth – called her his “St. Patrick’s Babe in the Morn” (soon shortened simply to “Babe”). As far as I can tell, she was born somewhere near midnight the day preceding St. Patrick’s day, 1912, though that doesn’t really detract from her father’s fondly effusive Irish feeling. “Babe” lasted for quite a while as a nickname, though “Buddy” intruded in childhood. “Buddy” suggests a tomboy, and perhaps any girl who grew up on a farm and did chores and took the dusty world as her playground would seem tomboyish, but as with so much about Mrs. Nixon, new and reliable information recedes with time. Upon entering college, Thelma became, at her own behest, “Patricia,” then was referred to as “Pat,” carrying her about as far away from someone else’s intention about her identity as most people dared go in those days.

A lot of fiction writers I know own a book called What Shall We Name the Baby? because in the heat of writing – or even after cold deliberation – even the simplest name just won’t pop into the writer’s head. The name “Ann” is forgotten, “Jim” unremembered. Sometimes writers want to consider etymology, or to use New Age names to express the mystical quality of the child, or something hoped for – but I’m thinking of something else: the writer’s panicky sense that all names have escaped him or her, and unless the writer can immediately find something (“Jane!”), the character will evaporate before ever being realized. Writers will tell you that when they remembered the name “John,” suddenly everything became possible. But because they have to look up a name, when no name can be conjured up, they have this book near their desk – unless the writer writes on the kitchen counter, say, and then they have it in the fruit bowl. (Think about how many prospective grandmothers have been misled by noticing this book.)

Buddy. Names, nicknames, they’re fascinating to writers, but they also cause anxiety because they’re so elusive, and because they have to come up with so many of them. Few people have a gift for the perfect name or nickname, and many such adult monikers are given without the victim's awareness. Henry Kissinger, for example, called Haldeman and Ehrlichman “The Fanatics.” (H.R. Haldeman was Nixon’s Chief of Staff; John Ehrlichman Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs.) Children have to accept their names, at least until they can protest. I don’t know how Mrs. Nixon felt about being “Buddy.” Bottom line, most of us only really want nicknames invented by those we love. My husband has so many nicknames for me that it’s lucky we don’t have pets. When he calls, I answer to most anything: that day’s nickname will undoubtedly be something I don’t recognize except for the tone. The only time I stop dead is when he calls me “Ann.” When he addresses me directly, I’m in trouble. Thelma/Buddy/Pat may have answered to even more names, but we'll never know.

I think of her, though, as Mrs. Nixon. Perhaps Richard Nixon thought of her as “Pat” or as some endearment we don’t know, such as “Fuzzy Bunny,” but when he referred to her it was usually as “Mrs. Nixon.” An egoist like Nixon would of course see people as an extension of himself, and sometimes when he was referring to his wife he was implying a certain dignity, insisting upon the respect he felt was inherent in the position she occupied (thanks to him). Since he often spoke of himself as “he,” which is much more bizarre, it’s understandable that he would refer to his wife formally. He thought aloud and liked to fabricate stories, and if he hadn’t been president, many of his fictions would be highly hilarious, but you’re stopped from laughing about this dissociation when you realize he had control of the “red telephone” – its nickname is the only way it’s referred to – and that when he was drunkenly wandering the corridors of the White House talking to the portraits hung on the walls (according to Edward, aka “Eddie,” Cox, his son-in-law), one of them might have answered and told him to go make mischief by holding down the little button.

In thinking aloud, he often used the expression “and so forth,” as a kind of shorthand for what didn’t need to be elaborated – especially since he was often talking to himself. He was his own best audience, and his predictable gestures, his distinctive mannerisms, must have felt like a reassuring form of applause, replacing the usual hand clapping. Nixon – like many politicians – while often in the presence of other people, was essentially talking to himself. He devised stories for others to tell, whether or not they were the truth, then played devil’s advocate, becoming first the lawyer for the prosecution, then for the defense, because he was a lawyer, and that is the way lawyers think. He did this out of the courtroom, however, and got to keep the witnesses as long as he wanted, or to dismiss them instantly, whichever seemed more advantageous. He was accustomed to hearing his own voice; others lay buried in the landslide of words. He is reported to have made 51 phone calls in one night during the Watergate mess – though that was certainly a worse quagmire than most of us ever experience.

Nixon and his team are described by longtime New Yorker writer Jonathan Schell in The Time of Illusion this way: “The Nixon Administration was characterized by, among other things, fragmentation. What the Nixon men thought was unconnected to what they said. What they said was unconnected to what they did. What they did or said they were doing at one moment was unconnected to what they did or said they were doing the next moment. And when they were driven from office, they left behind them not one but several unconnected records of themselves.” In their feints and dodges, Nixon and his players exhibited a versatility that equaled the range of professional actors. A later leader, Reagan, would be wittily described by Gore Vidal as "the acting President" but Nixon may have outdone him in the projection of personal fantasy. Often, Nixon elaborated scenarios he knew would never materialize, tacitly encouraging the listeners’ imagination, then revealing his own opinion. The outlandish CIA operative and pseudonymous mystery writer, E. Howard Hunt, put on a red wig to go off on assignment - or what he understood to be an assignment, or imagined to be one because he considered his thinking superior to those who might give him an assignment – while also understanding that playing the crazy could not really hurt him. Truly crazy people would buy into his game, and the people who weren’t could always dismiss him if things backfired. When not helpful, Hunt was a wild card that could be discarded, in the fast and loose non-rules of the game: he was – you know – not quite right. As covert operatives, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, the caterpillar mustached leader of the White House “plumbers,” were like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern run amok. Jonathan Schell writes that Liddy thought it would be a good plan to hire expensive prostitutes to “lure Democrats to a yacht rigged with secret cameras and recording equipment. The cost would be about a million dollars. [Attorney General John] Mitchell found the plan too expensive, and rejected it.” The government was presided over by a president who was most at ease when he could consider many possibilities and all their variables; what might sound comical and sophomorically contrived to most people would always seem to him truly unique, viable options. John Belushi, had he come along a bit earlier, could have led the way – as almost any of his characters, but perhaps most helpfully as Samurai Chef.

But we have come far from Mrs. Nixon; such drift seems endemic to writing about the quietly loyal and enigmatic Mrs. Nixon. It is difficult not to leave her behind, when the madness that surrounded her eclipsed her so thoroughly. She knew that Haldeman did not like her, and she did not like Haldeman. He was not even respectful of formalities. He excluded her. Travel schedules were drawn up that simply did not include her. Nothing suggests that she was happy about her husband remaining in politics, but rather that the opposite was true. However, she was used to taking care of things, herself included. Her mother died when she was young, and her father died soon afterwards. Mrs. Nixon’s daughter, Julie, recounts a story in which Mrs. Nixon, leaving her mother’s funeral, “walked directly over to her friends and said quickly, ‘Didn’t she look beautiful?’” Mrs. Nixon was telling her friends a story, not asking a question. She was making a pre-emptive strike, taking command (or appearing to take command) of the situation and offering a remark that, while uninspired and conventional, also asked a hidden question: Won’t you believe me? – because I am at risk, if you don’t. When people believe, Tinkerbell gets to spread her magic.

There’s something awkward or even painful for the recipient of such platitudes: the content is of course unremarkable – that is precisely the person’s intention – but the storyteller is silently asking for collusion, for an acceptance of this story as it’s recited, as opposed to the real story, so that the real story doesn’t have to be told, or emotionally registered. In stories, there are two components: what the story is, and how or why it is told. Those things often create the friction in what we’re reading. It is usually only through time, or with dropped hints, however, that we can tell someone is an unreliable narrator. Unreliable narrators, of course, do not necessarily know they’re unreliable. They can be genuinely ill-informed or simply mistaken, as well as being schemers. When we’re reading a work of fiction, the question becomes: does the writer believe this narrator? Lesson one in book club is probably not to assume the voice in the book reflects the outlook of the author. Even quite sophisticated readers can be thrown off by who they think the writer is, though – always a liability for an author, as well as something the writer can capitalize on, paradoxically: once an author is known, there’s a temptation to conflate his or her personality with the character’s. I once reasoned, about Felicia’s Journey: William Trevor must indeed be writing about someone who is just a nice old man, and who therefore can’t have the ominous undercurrents I’d started to sense, so it had to be my paranoia. The gentleman, like Trevor himself, would no doubt be a benign creature. It’s a good trick, to throw off readers because of who they – the writers – seem to be, but it’s not a trick writers can pull too often. I didn’t anticipate what was coming in Felicia’s Journey because of my unconscious stereotyping of the author, and what his fictional world was likely to be. Are we familiar enough with Mrs. Nixon to think that in framing her mother's death as she did she hoodwinked her audience, or herself? Does any author speculating on Mrs. Nixon need to decide whether she creates her one sentence story with great craft, or naive simplicity?

The Nixon administration helped create a culture of distrust that flourishes today. Inherent faith in government morphed into automatic distrust of all "they" do. We may have become suspicious of narrators because we’re so attuned to the discrepancy between the presumptive story and what underlies it. If things are moving and taking shape covertly, the words of the story, read too literally, may come to be an impediment to understanding. To some extent, a reading depends on how secure and knowledgeable the reader is. Sometimes when I’m teaching I read a paragraph aloud to make the point that an interesting tone is present, if readers allow themselves to hear it. “But how do you know to read it that way? Of course if you read it like that it’s ominous/funny/significant,” a student will usually respond. I can always be wrong, but I’ve come up with my possible reading because the writer has cued me to do so. There has been a subtle alteration before or after the line I’ve read aloud, or sometimes both. It’s bracketed, in effect. A rhythm has been altered, thereby setting something apart, while seeming to include it merely as an integer in the story’s larger context. In the context of her mother's death, what tone can we deduce from Mrs. Nixon's "Didn’t she look beautiful?"

Mrs. Nixon was being a bit breezy when she phrased her statement as a question. She wanted to get away as quickly as possible – away from the people she addressed, as well as from the upsetting reality of the situation. Interesting that she married a man who could leave almost nothing untouched, re-thinking everything, playing devil’s advocate with himself (or any angels who might be converted), always second-guessing both real and imaginary adversaries. She married a man who shared her anxiety about expressed emotion: he arrived at ideas and conclusions (those times he ever arrived) by dissembling, hypothesizing, imagining stories that would be told, rather than getting as close to the story as he could and elucidating its substance. He believed everything in the world could shift at any moment. This is not a little boy to whom you would have wanted to give an ant farm. When he had the power, he insisted upon being the camera, making his audience move. He used words to superimpose one story on top of another. By the time he had concluded his half-thoughts and ellipses, his curses and his hypothetical scenarios, he’d shaped a ball of twine into a cat’s cradle so dense, even he could not escape. We needn't make him analogous to Carver's Leo, with his wife offstage, unable to witness his realization that he is willing to be dead. But in David Frost's famous TV interview of March, 1977, we find out that Nixon, forced by the press’ vigilance about the Watergate break-in and Americans’ increasing desire to lay the blame at someone’s feet, to ask for Ehrlichman's resignation, told his faithful subordinate that he’d hoped he wouldn't wake up that morning. If we trust this particular narrator, Nixon was willing himself to be dead.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2011

    A MUST-READ....RUN, DON'T WALK, TO BUY IT

    In this marvelous book, Ann Beattie has found a seemingly unlikely, but utterly perfect, subject in the wife of Richard Nixon. Perhaps only a fiction writer of Beattie's caliber could illuminate the life of this inscrutable figure, and do so in the most interesting and ingenious and captivating of ways. Mrs. Nixon is a book one needs to give one's self over to, completely, in order for it to be fully enjoyed. It will linger with you long after you put it down. Oddly enough, despite the many many wonderful books Ann Beattie has written over these many years, this brilliant, surprising work may be the one she will be most remembered for. That Beattie is a native of Washington DC only adds to its quirky allure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 1, 2011

    Not Recommended!!

    A very disappointing book. If you want to learn about the life of Pat Nixon - Do Not Purchase book. If you want to learn how to write short stories - this book is for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)