Nothing Was the Same
by Kay Redfield Jamison
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Other memoirists have explored what it means to grieve, said Dinah Lenney in the Los Angeles Times. What the psychiatrist author of 1995’s An Unquiet Mind brings to recollecting the loss of her own husband is a deep understanding of the working of the mind, as well as a personal sense of the difference between grief and depression. Readers may “occasionally tire of Jamison’s self-absorption,” despite the elegant writing, but she has once again “turned herself inside out.”
by Matt Latimer
Former White House speechwriter Matt Latimer sometimes seems bent on settling scores with “people no one has heard of,” said The Economist. True, he “writes well and is sometimes amusing.” He also includes some entertainingly rude things that, he claims, President Bush said about Barack Obama, John McCain, and others. But besides its biliousness, the most notable feature of Speech-less may be that it advances the bizarre belief that the reason Bush fell out of favor with voters is that he wasn’t conservative enough.
The Kids Are All Right
by Diana, Liz, Amanda, and Dan Welch
Four siblings “deftly pass the narrative baton” in this “tremendously engrossing” look back at how each survived losing both their parents during childhood, said Peter Cameron in O magazine. “Although the voice changes little from one author to the next,” every member of this well-to-do family from suburban New York “emerges as a complex and sympathetic character,” and I “came to love and respect” them all. I couldn’t put the book down.
by Edmund White
There’s so much sex and gossip in Edmund White’s latest memoir that it sometimes reads like the account of a rock groupie, said Dwight Garner in The New York Times. White was a “self-hating” gay man in 1960s New York who dove in with abandon when the gay-rights revolution turned the city into a sexual playground. “There’s nearly as much” about White’s famous friends in City Boy as there is about his maturation as a novelist. Gay New York’s “star-spangled coming-of-age” is all here in “exacting and eye-popping detail.”
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