Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love
By Anne Fadiman (Editor)
Farrar Straus Giroux, Paperback, 9780374530549, 244pp.
Publication Date: September 5, 2006
Is a book the same book or a reader the same reader the second time around? The seventeen authors in this witty and poignant collection of essays all agree on the answer: Never.
The editor of Rereadings is Anne Fadiman, and readers of her bestselling book Ex Libris will find this volume especially satisfying. Her chosen authors include Sven Birkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante; the objects of their literary affections range from Pride and Prejudice to Sue Barton, Student Nurse.
These essays are not conventional literary criticism; they are about relationships. Rereadings reveals at least as much about the reader as about the book: each is a miniature memoir that focuses on that most interesting of topics, the protean nature of love. And as every bibliophile knows, no love is more life-changing than the love of a book.
Praise for Rereadings:
"An absolute delight for those of us who live to read (and reread) . . . Fadiman has done such a fine job of selecting and arranging these pieces that they become a kind of composite literary coming-of-age memoir from the geeky, horny adolescent madly thumbing Franny and Zooey or Lord Jim in some shag-carpeted suburban basement bedroom to the sadder but wiser critic, novelist, poet who gazes wistfully at the ghost of a younger self rising from the pages of a once-loved book." -David Laskin, The Seattle Times
"A delightful glimpse into the relationship between reader and book." --Teresa K. Weaver, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"If you're a fan of Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris--and who among right-thinking people isn't?--then your heart will skip a beat over her new anthology, Rereadings . . . thoroughly enjoyable essays." -Claire Dederer, Newsday
"A deep and wonderfully complex story about relationships . . . Anne Fadiman's diverse collection of essays encourages readers to rethink the way we see our favorite books and ultimately the way we see ourselves through them." -Jill Marr, Pages
Praise for Ex Libris:
"For Fadiman, books are the building blocks with which a life is made. . . With breezy, self-effacing humor and dollops of literary trivia, the essays in Ex Libris try to cajole us into restoring books to the heart of family life." --Lucia Perillo, Chicago Tribune
"A terrifically entertaining collection of personal essays about books . . . Heartening, tender, wise, and hilarious." -Patsy Baudoin, The Boston Book Review
"Each essay is a model of clarity and lightly worn erudition, and speaks volumes about the author's appreciation for people as well as books." -The New Yorker
"A smart little book that one can happily welcome into the family and allow to start growing old." -Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times