Tag Archives: The New York Times

Life With Death – One Good Thing Leads to Another

Cover ImageIf you missed the NYT Book Review this past Sunday, then you missed William Giraldi’s lovely feature highlighting Michigan author Thomas Lynch. Life With Death is certainly a review worth linking to, as William Giraldi’s elegant prose rests in kind compliment to that of the mastery of Mr. Lynch himself.

I recently finished Lynch’s book The Undertaking, and each and every page brought me to my knees. Breathless, I devoured Lynch’s words and marveled at his magical ability to turn the deep, raw sentiments of death into palatable wisps of humor; that he could so artfully craft a work on the death of Death itself. Though I finished The Undertaking weeks ago, I’m still bereft of deserving words for an author I have come to so admire.

It was with great fortune, then, that I fell upon William Giraldi’s review of Apparition & Late Fictions, which not only highlights Lynch’s first work of fiction but also his unique style and life perspective. “Lynch does not recoil from the gruesome facts of his trade or the insights they have allowed him,” notes Giraldi, “but he commands the light as well as the darkness. Nihilism is nowhere in these stories, and love is everywhere embraced.”

As Giraldi praises Lynch for adding “another chapter to one of the most memorable records in American letters,” I found myself thinking much the same of Giraldi. While it’s plain, midwestern truth that I’m far from the caliber of a New York Times reviewer, I can say that crafting even a simple review is not a breezy affair. So, as I endlessly groped in the dark for the ripple of words that might convey Lynch’s spirit, I swooned at Giraldi’s easy capture and fluidity;  “…the stories and novella here are gifts of precision, narratives with the poise to depict entire lives unstrung by the end of things.”

If you fear the talk of endangered book reviews, Giraldi’s review won’t soothe your soul. For those of us who are purists to the book and its circling words, we ultimately rely on the grace of one good work leading to another. Therefore, not only in Thomas Lynch have I found a new literary hero, but I can now pursue the pleasure of seeking out the works of William Giraldi as well.

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-Post by Megan Shaffer


Busy Monsters: A Novel by William Giraldi

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, The Undertaking, Thomas Lynch

The Principles of Uncertainty

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman: Book CoverThere are gift givers, and then there are gift givers. If not for the ever-fascinating, eccentric literary scope of my aunt, I might never have been introduced to artist Maira Kalman and her 2007 work The Principles of Uncertainty. Simply beyond words, Kalman’s work is irresistibly fresh and lyrically moves beyond the page as she paints her way through the whimsy and introspections of life. Like freshly cut flowers dosed with a smiling bit of sunshine, Principles extends an easy, alternative stroll down the hurried lane of life. Treat yourself.

Related Links

Maira Kalman appearing on TED.com Talks

Kalman Pursuit of Happiness blogs for New York Times

Maira Kalman biography at Saul Gallery.com

Maira Kalman New Yorker covers

*Support your local bookstores and universities. It matters!

-Post by Megan Shaffer with love to aunt Moira

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Maira Kalman, The Principles of Uncertainty