Anna Quindlen is the author of six novels (EVERY LAST ONE, RISE AND SHINE, BLESSINGS, OBJECT LESSONS, ONE TRUE THING, BLACK AND BLUE), and eight nonfiction books (LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE, A SHORT GUIDE TO A HAPPY LIFE, GOOD DOG. STAY., BEING PERFECT, LOUD AND 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.
Anna Quindlen has been delighting her readers with both her novels and her collections of essays for some time now. Always interesting, always opinionated, Anna Quindlen is well worth reading.
Her first novel, OBJECT LESSONS, tells the story of twelve-year-old Maggie Scanlon who is struggling with the death of her grandfather and the lessons he is trying to teach her. The book is an engaging story of a young woman coming of age.
Her novel, BLACK AND BLUE, takes up the story of an abused woman and what happens to her. How the protagonist leaves her abusive husband and deals with her new life make for unforgettable reading.
Both THINKING OUT LOUD and LIVING OUT LOUD are collections of essays that originally ran in the New York Times. Quindlen opines on topics ranging from the Gulf War through the controversy over abortion. She observes euthanasia from the perspective of a dying man's wife, comment's on her daughter's second birthday, and considers the reasons why men still earn more than women. Both books are interesting and will have you thinking for a long time.
HOW READING CHANGED MY LIFE is a memoir of her love of reading. She discusses books she read as a child and segues into the issue of reading for pleasure. She analyzes the power books hold over us all and discusses the reasons why books inspire such love in all of us. She even includes a reading list for those of us who might need one.
Anna Quindlen is well worth reading --- whether you choose her novels or her works of nonfiction. Pick up one of her books --- you won't be disappointed.
--- Judith Handschuh (JHScriba@aol.com)