Thinking Out Loud: On the Personal, the Political, the Public, and the Private

Overview

"A splendid collection...Eloquent, powerful, compassionate and droll. There is considerable variety in the subjects she addresses....Compelling."
THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
Thinking out loud is what Anna Quindlen does best. A syndicated columnist with her finger on the pulse of women's lives, and her heart in a place we all share, she writes about the passions, politics, and peculiarities of Americans everywhere. From gays in the military, to the race for First Lady, to the ...
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Thinking Out Loud: On the Personal, the Political, the Public, and the Private

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Overview

"A splendid collection...Eloquent, powerful, compassionate and droll. There is considerable variety in the subjects she addresses....Compelling."
THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
Thinking out loud is what Anna Quindlen does best. A syndicated columnist with her finger on the pulse of women's lives, and her heart in a place we all share, she writes about the passions, politics, and peculiarities of Americans everywhere. From gays in the military, to the race for First Lady, to the trials of modern motherhood and the right to choose, Anna Quindlen's views always fascinate.
More of her views can be found in LIVING OUT LOUD, and OBJECT LESSONS.

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Quindlen skillfully blends the controversial domain where public and private problems converge with the public manifestation of private concerns, such as working motherhood, racism, and gay rights.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Concerned as she is with all manner of conflicts between public and private issues represented in this collection of essays from her syndicated New York Times op-ed column, Quindlen (Living Out Loud) admits to viewing even non-feminist topics through "the special lens of her gender.'' Sensitive to social and political trends and the "shifting sands of geopolitics'' that propel events, she points out their cost in human terms, especially as they affect the excluded and abused. Violence, notes the author--sexual, racial or political, performed by individuals or in groups as members of sports teams, gangs, police or the military--is routinely glorified, whether in children's cartoons or adult soap operas. Equally effective are Quindlen's always superbly controled commentaries on lying, bigotry and moral hypocrisy among political, judiciary and religious leaders, and the cynical use of ideals to justify military incursions.
Library Journal
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Quindlen introduces this collection of her recent Op-Ed pieces with Dorothy Thompson's comment that her strength as a writer was from being "altogether female.'' The same is definitely true of Quindlen, who says her husband once asked her, "Could you get up and get me a beer without writing about it?'' No, she can't; even though Quindlen no longer writes the intensely personal "Life in the 30s'' columns (collected in Living Out Loud , Random House, 1988), her new "Public and Private'' columns are just that: discussions of world events as seen through her prism as wife, mother, and woman. This dual perspective has both pleased and infuriated readers, who may question whether a discussion of Jo March as heroine deserves to be part of "all the news that's fit to print.'' Still, Quindlen has offered a welcome human voice to the Times pages, and some of her best columns--her courageous condemnation of her own paper's decision to print the name of the woman in the William Kennedy rape trial, for instance--prove that. Essential for any journalism collection, this will be enjoyed by general readers also.
Library Journal
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Quindlen introduces this collection of her recent Op-Ed pieces with Dorothy Thompson's comment that her strength as a writer was from being "altogether female.'' The same is definitely true of Quindlen, who says her husband once asked her, "Could you get up and get me a beer without writing about it?'' No, she can't; even though Quindlen no longer writes the intensely personal "Life in the 30s'' columns (collected in Living Out Loud , Random House, 1988), her new "Public and Private'' columns are just that: discussions of world events as seen through her prism as wife, mother, and woman. This dual perspective has both pleased and infuriated readers, who may question whether a discussion of Jo March as heroine deserves to be part of "all the news that's fit to print.'' Still, Quindlen has offered a welcome human voice to the Times pages, and some of her best columns--her courageous condemnation of her own paper's decision to print the name of the woman in the William Kennedy rape trial, for instance--prove that. Essential for any journalism collection, this will be enjoyed by general readers also.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449909058
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 287
  • Sales rank: 662,795
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Quindlen
Anna Quindlen
Anna Quindlen is the author of five previous bestselling novels (Rise and Shine, Blessings, Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue), and seven nonfiction books (A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Good Dog. Stay., Being Perfect, Loud & Clear, Living Out Loud, Thinking Out Loud, and How Reading Changed My Life). Her New York Times column "Public and Private" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. From 2000-2009, She wrote the "Last Word" column for Newsweek.

Biography

Anna Quindlen could have settled onto a nice, lofty career plateau in the early 1990s, when she had won a Pulitzer Prize for her New York Times column; but she took an unconventional turn, and achieved a richer result.

Quindlen, the third woman to hold a place among the Times' Op-Ed columnists, had already published two successful collections of her work when she decided to leave the paper in 1995. But it was the two novels she had produced that led her to seek a future beyond her column.

Quindlen had a warm, if not entirely uncritical, reception as a novelist. Her first book, Object Lessons, focused on an Irish American family in suburban New York in the 1960s. It was a bestseller and a Times Notable Book of 1991, but was also criticized for not being as engaging as it could have been. One True Thing, Quindlen's exploration of an ambitious daughter's journey home to take care of her terminally ill mother, was stronger still—a heartbreaker that was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep. But Quindlen's fiction clearly benefited from her decision to leave the Times. Three years after that controversial departure, she earned her best reviews yet with Black and Blue, a chronicle of escape from domestic abuse.

Quindlen's novels are thoughtful explorations centering on women who may not start out strong, but who ultimately find some core within themselves as a result of what happens in the story. Her nonfiction meditations—particularly A Short Guide to a Happy Life and her collection of "Life in the 30s" columns, Living Out Loud—often encourage this same transition, urging others to look within themselves and not get caught up in what society would plan for them. It's an approach Quindlen herself has obviously had success with.

Good To Know

To those who expressed surprise at Quindlen's apparent switch from columnist to novelist, the author points out that her first love was always fiction. She told fans in a Barnes & Noble.com chat, "I really only went into the newspaper business to support my fiction habit, but then discovered, first of all, that I loved reporting for its own sake and, second, that journalism would be invaluable experience for writing novels."

Quindlen joined Newsweek as a columnist in 1999. She began her career at the New York Post in 1974, jumping to the New York Times in 1977.

Quindlen's prowess as a columnist and prescriber of advice has made her a popular pick for commencement addresses, a sideline that ultimately inspired her 2000 title A Short Guide to a Happy Life. Quindlen's message tends to be a combination of stopping to smell the flowers and being true to yourself. Quindlen told students at Mount Holyoke in 1999, "Begin to say no to the Greek chorus that thinks it knows the parameters of a happy life when all it knows is the homogenization of human experience. Listen to that small voice from inside you, that tells you to go another way. George Eliot wrote, 'It is never too late to be what you might have been.' It is never too early, either. And it will make all the difference in the world."

Studying fiction at Barnard with the literary critic Elizabeth Hardwick, Quindlen's senior thesis was a collection of stories, one of which she sold to Seventeen magazine.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 8, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A., Barnard College, 1974
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
"Altogether Female" - An Introduction
Unsolicited Opinions 1
The Old Block 6
A Changing World 9
The Great White Myth 12
Tyson Is Not Magic 15
To Defray Expenses 18
Across the Divide 21
Erin Go Brawl 24
No Closet Space 27
With Extreme Prejudice 30
Evan's Two Moms 33
Moving the Furniture Around 36
Room at the Inn 39
No Place Like Home 42
Somalia's Plagues 45
Seeking a Sense of Control 48
A Time to Die 51
Justice and Mercy 54
Parental Rites 57
Believe in Magic 60
Foul Play 63
Journalism 2001 66
Suffer the Little Children 69
A Mistake 72
Kids and Animals 75
The Days of Gilded Rigatoni 81
Suicide Solution 84
Cradle to Grave 87
With Babies on Board 90
Rabbit Punch 94
Another Kid in the Kitchen 97
Men at Work 100
The Waiting List 103
Mom Alone 106
Babes in Toyland 109
Mommy Dimmest 112
Naughty and Nice 115
Enough Bookshelves 118
Mr. Smith Goes to Heaven 121
On the News 125
Justice for the Next Century 131
The Blank Slate 134
Listen to Us 137
An American Tragedy 140
The Perfect Victim 143
The Trouble with Teddy 146
The Invasion Vacation 149
Summer's Soldiers 152
New World At War 155
The Questions Continue 158
In the Shadow of War 161
Personally 164
The Back Fence 167
The Domestic Front 170
Regrets Only 173
Reservations Not Accepted 176
The Microwave War 179
No There There 182
Just Say Yes 185
Advantage, Mr. Clinton 188
Gender Contender 191
All of These You Are 194
The Two Faces of Eve 197
The Fourth Wall 200
One View Fits All 203
Rumor Has It 206
A Place Called Hope 209
Women's Rites 213
The Abortion Account 219
Mom, Dad, and Abortion 222
The Nuns' Story 225
Offensive Play 228
Rust, Roe, and Reality 231
Hidden Agendas 234
The Abortion Orphans 237
At the Clinics 240
Hearts and Minds 243
One Vote 246
The Truth Telling 249
No More Waiting 252
Bears with Furniture 255
Dirt and Dignity 258
The Cement Floor 261
A Team Dream 264
Heroine Addiction 267
Rebels Without a Clue 270
Getting a Second Wind 273
Ms. President 276
Not about Breasts 279
Contradictions 282
The Glass Half Empty 285
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