BN.com Gift Guide

Reading for My Life: Writings, 1958-2008 [NOOK Book]

Overview

John Leonard was a lion of American letters. A passionate, erudite, and wide-ranging critic, he helped shape the landscape of modern literature. Reading for My Life is a monumental collection of Leonard's most significant writings?spanning five decades?from his earliest columns for the Harvard Crimson to his final essays for the New York Review of Books. Definitive reviews of Doris Lessing, Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Vladimir Nabokov, and Philip Roth, among others, display Leonard's encyclopedic ...
See more details below
Reading for My Life: Writings, 1958-2008

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • 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)
$14.99
BN.com price

Overview

John Leonard was a lion of American letters. A passionate, erudite, and wide-ranging critic, he helped shape the landscape of modern literature. Reading for My Life is a monumental collection of Leonard's most significant writings—spanning five decades—from his earliest columns for the Harvard Crimson to his final essays for the New York Review of Books. Definitive reviews of Doris Lessing, Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Vladimir Nabokov, and Philip Roth, among others, display Leonard's encyclopedic knowledge of literature and make this book a landmark achievement from one of America's most beloved and influential critics.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Phillip Lopate
There was more than a touch of the poet in John Leonard, alongside the cheerful investigator. It would be grand to have available a much larger selection of his pieces, either in subsequent volumes or online. Meanwhile, let's be grateful for this eloquent sample of his writings, rescued from the dust of past periodicals.
—The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
A selection of reviews and essays from the celebrated literary critic, followed by a sort of festschrift with contributors ranging from family members to noted authors (Toni Morrison, Mary Gordon and others). Leonard (1939–2008), long-time reviewer for and sometime editor of the New York Times Book Review, displays an astonishing erudition throughout these pieces, chronologically arranged. (Many readers, however, will be disappointed to find no external indications of when and where the piece initially appeared.) Sentences sometimes feature as many as nine allusions, such as the one that mentions Yeats, Pound, Lessing, Bellow, Rudolf Steiner, Rosicrucians, Alpha and Omega, Jarrell and Auden. Yet there is often a playfulness--an informality--in his prose, as well. In the initial piece (about how he reads for his living), he recalls, "I became an intellectual because I couldn't get a date." And: "Like God and television," he writes in a long and wonderful essay about TV and popular culture, "we see around corners." Leonard could also bring tears at unexpected moments. For example, he ends his review of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, with "I cannot imagine dying without this book." He ends a piece about Morrison, a writer he championed, with, "I was holding my breath, and she took it away." Included in the collection are prescient reviews of Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Stone, Norman Mailer, Don DeLillo, Philip Roth, Amos Oz, Ralph Ellison, Maureen Howard and numerous other luminaries. There is a moving piece about 9/11 and another on the AIDS crisis. More than once, he blasts Bob Dylan for his treatment of Joan Baez (whom Leonard adored). Other, unsurprising targets of his disdain included Richard Nixon and Peggy Noonan. Glistening evidence that a great critic needs both a bookworm's habits and a capacious heart.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101561003
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/15/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

John Leonard (1939–2008) was a reviewer or contributing editor for practically every national print outlet, including the Nation, the New York Review of Books, Harper's Magazine, Vanity Fair, Salon, and New York Magazine, and a daily book reviewer for the New York Times. He also appeared regularly on NPR's Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning. Leonard wrote four novels and served for four years as the executive editor of the New York Times Book Review.
 
E. L. Doctorow holds the Lewis and Loretta Glucksman chair in English and American Letters at New York University. His novels include Ragtime, which received the first National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1976, The Book of Daniel, City of God, and The March.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction E. L. Doctorow xi

Reading for My Life 1

1958 The Cambridge Scene 9

1958 The Demise of Greenwich Village 12

1959 Pasternak's Hero: Man Against the Monoliths 17

1959 Epitaph for the Beat Generation 1

1962 Richard Nixon's Six Crises 24

1969 Doris Lessing's the Four-Gated City 31

1969 Nabokov's Ada 34

1970 Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude 37

1970 Arthur Koestler's Arrow in the Blue and The Invisible Writing 39

1970 Supergirl Meets the Sociologist 42

1976 Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior 45

1978 Edward Said's Orientalism 47

1988 Gay Talese's Thy Neighbor's Wife 50

1981 Robert Stone's A Flag for Sunrise 57

1987 Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities and Jim Sleeper's In Search of New York 60

1988 Don DeLillo's Libra 71

1988 AIDS Is Everywhere 77

1988 On the Beat at Ms 81

1988 Nan Robertson's Getting Better 84

1989 Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses 88

1990 Thomas Pynchon's Vineland 93

1990 Günter Grass: Bad Boys and Fairy Tales 103

1990 Peggy Noonan's What I Saw at the Revolution 118

1990 No Turning Back, Barbara Ferraro and Patricia Hussey, with Jane O'Reilly 120

1991 Philip Roth's Patrimony 122

1991 Milan Kundera's Immortality 124

1991 Norman Mailer's Harlot's Ghost 134

1992 Ed Sullivan Died for Our Sins 147

1993 Dear Bill (on the Occasion of His Inauguration) 168

1994 Meeting David Grossman 171

1995 Eduardo Galeano Walks Some Words 180

1996 Amos Oz in the Desert 183

1997 Family Values, Like the House of Atreus 194

1997 When Studs Listens, Everyone Else Talks 224

1998 Amazing Grace 227

1998 Morrison's Paradise Lost 230

1999 Ralph Ellison, Sort Of (Plus Hemingway and Salinger) 238

2000 Why Socialism Never Happened Here 249

2001 Maureen Howard's Big as Life 256

2001 Bill Ayers's Fugitive Days 262

2001 Blowing His Nose in the Wind 271

2002 Networks of Terror 281

2003 Richard Powers's The Time of Our Singing 286

2004 Jacobo Timerman, Renaissance Troublemaker 289

2005 Jonathan Lethem's Men and Cartoons, The Disappointment Artist, and The Fortress of Solitude 293

2006 Citizen Doctorow 305

2007 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (on Václav Havel) 309

2007 The Last Innocent White Man 316

2007 Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union 320

2005 Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking 332

Writing for His Life 347

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

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