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Harvey Freedenberg

Biography

Harvey Freedenberg


mwn52@aol.com

Harvey Freedenberg practices intellectual property law and litigation with a large Harrisburg, Pennsylvania firm. He's been working as a freelance reviewer since 2005 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. In addition to the more than 100 reviews he's written for Bookreporter.com, he reviews for BookPage, Shelf Awareness and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He also writes a monthly column featuring reviews and articles on other book-related subjects for Harrisburg Magazine. In 2000, Harvey took a six-month sabbatical from his law practice and studied creative writing at his alma mater, Dickinson College. Three of his short stories have won prizes, and he has written an as-yet-unpublished novel. Harvey enjoys literary fiction and a wide range of nonfiction. His favorite authors are too numerous to mention, but include Richard Ford, Tim O’Brien, John Updike, Charles Baxter, John Cheever, Tracy Kidder and John McPhee. To read all of Harvey's reviews along with his comments on the book world and assorted topics, follow him on Twitter (@HarvF) or friend him on Facebook.

Harvey Freedenberg

Reviews by Harvey Freedenberg

by Rob Spillman - Memoir, Nonfiction

Rob Spillman --- the award-winning, charismatic co-founding editor of the legendary Tin House magazine --- has devoted his life to the rebellious pursuit of artistic authenticity. After an unsettled youth moving between divorced parents in disparate cities, Spillman would eventually find his way into the literary world of New York City, only to abandon it to return to Berlin just months after the Wall came down. Twenty-five and newly married, Spillman and his wife, the writer Elissa Schappell, moved to the anarchic streets of East Berlin in search of the bohemian lifestyle of their idols. But Spillman soon discovered he was chasing the one thing that had always eluded him: a place, or person, to call home.

by Dana Spiotta - Fiction

INNOCENTS AND OTHERS is about two best friends who grow up in LA in the ’80s and become filmmakers. Meadow and Carrie have everything in common --- except their views on sex, power, movie-making and morality. Their lives collide with Jelly, a loner whose most intimate experience is on the phone. Jelly is older, erotic and mysterious. She cold calls powerful men and seduces them not through sex but through listening. She invites them to reveal themselves, and they do.

by Owen Gleiberman - Memoir, Entertainment, Movies, Nonfiction

What molds a critic? Perhaps it takes parents willing to buy nine-year-old Owen Gleiberman drive-in tickets for Rosemary's Baby. Like millions of us, Gleiberman loves movies, and in MOVIE FREAK, he not only reveals the details of how he became a critic but attempts to show why we find cinema so defining as a society. As one of the premiere tastemakers for more than three decades, Gleiberman, a self-confessed movie freak, explains why he and so many others equate film with life.

by Ethan Canin - Fiction

Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan, he gives little thought to his own talent. But with his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley, he realizes the extent --- and the risks --- of his singular gifts. California in the ’70s is a seduction, opening Milo’s eyes to the allure of both ambition and indulgence. The research he begins there will make him a legend; the woman he meets there --- and the rival he meets alongside her --- will haunt him for the rest of his life. For Milo’s brilliance is entwined with a dark need that soon grows to threaten his work, his family, even his existence.

by Diana Athill - Essays, Memoir, Nonfiction

Diana Athill charmed readers with her prize-winning memoir, SOMEWHERE TOWARDS THE END, which transformed her into an unexpected literary star. Now, on the eve of her 98th birthday, Athill has written a sequel every bit as unsentimental, candid and beguiling as her most beloved work. Writing from her cozy room in Highgate, London, Athill begins to reflect on the things that matter after a lifetime of remarkable experiences, and the memories that have risen to the surface and sustain her in her very old age.

by Eric Weiner - Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel

In THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS, acclaimed travel writer Eric Weiner sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas. He explores the history of places --- like Vienna of 1900, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, Song Dynasty Hangzhou, and Silicon Valley --- to show how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity. And he walks the same paths as the geniuses who flourished in these settings to see if the spirit of what inspired figures like Socrates, Michelangelo and Leonardo remains.

by Marilynne Robinson - Essays, Nonfiction

The spirit of our times can appear to be one of joyless urgency. As a culture, we have become less interested in the exploration of the glorious mind and more interested in creating and mastering technologies that will yield material well-being. But while cultural pessimism is always fashionable, there is still much to give us hope. In THE GIVENNESS OF THINGS, Marilynne Robinson delivers an impassioned critique of our contemporary society while arguing that reverence must be given to who we are and what we are: creatures of singular interest and value, despite our errors and depredations.

written by Michael Cunningham, with illustrations by Yuko Shimizu - Fantasy, Fiction, Short Stories

A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a house deep in the forest, constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. In A WILD SWAN, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away --- the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder --- are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation.

by Anthony Marra - Fiction, Short Stories

Anthony Marra’s collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A 1930s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape that is unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts.

by Jonathan Franzen - Fiction

A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads young Pip Tyler to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world --- including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.