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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 Three of his short stories have won prizes, and he has written an as-yet-unpublished novel.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 Aleksandar Hemon - Fiction

Josh Levin is an aspiring screenwriter teaching ESL classes in Chicago. His laptop is full of ideas, but the only one to really take root is Zombie Wars. When Josh comes home to discover his landlord, an unhinged army vet, rifling through his dirty laundry, he decides to move in with his girlfriend, Kimmy. It's domestic bliss for a moment, but Josh becomes entangled with a student, a Bosnian woman named Ana, whose husband is jealous and violent. Disaster ensues.

by Oliver Sacks - Memoir, Nonfiction

From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, ON THE MOVE is infused with Oliver Sacks’ restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.

by Bruce Eric Kaplan - Memoir, Nonfiction

Bruce Eric Kaplan, also known as BEK, is one of the most celebrated and admired cartoonists in America. I WAS A CHILD is the story of his childhood in words and drawings, in which he recalls growing up in New Jersey with his parents and two older brothers. It would seem like a conventional childhood, although Kaplan’s anecdotes are accompanied by his signature drawings of family outings and life at home --- road trips, milk crates, hamsters, ashtrays, wigs, a platypus and much more.

by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell - History, Nonfiction

One hundred and fifty years after Abraham Lincoln’s death, the full story of his extraordinary relationship with Jews is told here for the first time. LINCOLN AND THE JEWS provides readers both with a captivating narrative of his interactions with Jews, and with the opportunity to immerse themselves in rare manuscripts and images --- many from the Shapell Lincoln Collection --- that show Lincoln in a way he has never been seen before.

by Jonathan Lethem - Fiction, Short Stories

Jonathan Lethem’s third collection of stories uncovers a father’s nervous breakdown at SeaWorld; a foundling child rescued from the woods during a blizzard; a political prisoner in a hole in a Brooklyn street; and a crumbling, haunted “blog” on a seaside cliff. As in his novels, Lethem finds the uncanny lurking in the mundane, the irrational self-defeat seeping through our upstanding pursuits, and the tragic undertow of the absurd world(s) in which we live.

by Roger Cohen - Memoir, Nonfiction

Award-winning New York Times columnist Roger Cohen turns a compassionate yet discerning eye on the legacy of his own forebears. As he follows them across continents and decades, mapping individual lives that diverge and intertwine, vital patterns of struggle and resilience, valued heritage and evolving loyalties (religious, ethnic and national) converge into a resonant portrait of cultural identity in the modern age.

by Edith Pearlman - Fiction, Short Stories

In HONEYDEW, Edith Pearlman writes with warmth about the predicaments of being human. Whether the characters we encounter are a special child with pentachromatic vision, a group of displaced Somali women adjusting to life in suburban Boston, or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them to us with unsurpassed generosity.

by Brock Clarke - Fiction

Take the format of a spy thriller, shape it around real-life incidents involving international terrorism, leaven it with dark, dry humor, toss in a love rectangle, give everybody a gun, and let everything play out in the outer reaches of upstate New York. There you have an idea of Brock Clarke’s new novel, THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

by Alice Munro - Fiction, Short Stories

FAMILY FURNISHINGS brings us 24 of Alice Munro’s most accomplished, most powerfully affecting stories, many of them set in the territory she has so brilliantly made her own: the small towns and flatlands of southwestern Ontario. These stories illuminate the quotidian yet extraordinary particularity in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world.

by Howard Jacobson - Fiction

When Ailinn Solomons arrives in his village by a sea that laps no other shore, Kevern Cohen is instantly drawn to her. Although mistrustful by nature, the two become linked as if they were meant for each other. Together, they form a refuge from the commonplace brutality that is the legacy of a historic catastrophe shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, simply referred to as WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED.