Anne Fadiman - book author
Anne Fadiman, the daughter of Annalee Whitmore Jacoby Fadiman, a screenwriter and foreign correspondent, and Clifton Fadiman, an essayist and critic, was born in New York City in 1953. She graduated in 1975 from Harvard College, where she began her writing career as the undergraduate columnist at Harvard Magazine. For many years, she was a writer and columnist for Life, and later an Editor-at-Large at Civilization. She has won National Magazine Awards for both Reporting (1987) and Essays (2003), as well as a National Book Critics Circle Award for The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, a collection of first-person essays on books and reading, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1998. Fadiman was the editor of the intellectual and cultural quarterly The American Scholar from 1997 to 2004. She now holds the Francis chair in nonfiction writing at Yale. Fadiman lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, the writer George Howe Colt, and their two children.
Anne Fadiman is the author of books: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays, Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love, The Wine Lover's Daughter: A Memoir, The Best American Essays 2003, Alles, was das Leben ausmacht: Leichtfertige Essays, A Life in Medicine: A Literary Anthology, The Grown-Ups' Book Of Books, The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. As someone who played at blocks with her father's 22-volume set of Trollope ("My Ancestral Castles") and who only really considered herself married when she and her husband had merged collections ("Marrying Libraries"), she is exquisitely well equipped to expand upon the art of inscriptions, the perverse pleasures of compulsive proof-reading, the allure of long words, and the satisfactions of reading out loud. There is even a foray into pure literary gluttony—Charles Lamb liked buttered muffin crumbs between the leaves, and Fadiman knows of more than one reader who literally consumes page corners. Perfectly balanced between humor and erudition, Ex Libris establishes Fadiman as one of our finest contemporary essayists.
Many of these essays were composed “under the influence” of the subject at hand. Fadiman ingests a shocking amount of ice cream and divulges her passion for Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip and her brother’s homemade Liquid Nitrogen Kahlúa Coffee (recipe included); she sustains a terrific caffeine buzz while recounting Balzac’s coffee addiction; and she stays up till dawn to write about being a night owl, examining the rhythms of our circadian clocks and sharing such insomnia cures as her father’s nocturnal word games and Lewis Carroll’s mathematical puzzles. At Large and At Small is a brilliant and delightful collection of essays that harkens a revival of a long-cherished genre.
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.
In The Wine Lover's Daughter, Anne Fadiman examines with all her characteristic wit and feeling her relationship with her father, the celebrated multihyphenate and lover of wine Clifton Fadiman. A renowned literary critic, editor, and radio host, Clifton was born in Brooklyn, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, and spent the rest of his life trying to get away from it.
An appreciation of wine along with a plummy upper-crust accent, expensive suits, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Western literature was an essential element of Clifton s escape from lower-middle-class Brooklyn to swanky Manhattan. The Wine Lover's Daughter traces the arc of a man's infatuation, from the glass of cheap Graves he drank in 1927 in a Parisian department store; to the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1904 he drank to celebrate his eightieth birthday, when he and the bottle were exactly the same age; to the wines that sustained him during the last years of his life, when he was blind but still buoyed, as he had always been, by hedonism.
Wine is the spine of this touching memoir; the life and character of Fadiman s father, along with her relationship with him and her own less ardent relationship with wine, are the flesh. A poignant and thoughtful exploration of love, ambition, class, family, and the pleasures of the palate, The Wine Lover's Daughter is a splendid return to form by one of our finest essayists.
The Grown-Ups' Book of Books is one of two books specially produced for World Book Day with the support of publishers, booksellers, printers, designers and distributors.
Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.
As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her deeply affecting last essay for The Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits.
Even though she was just twenty-two years old when she died, Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, capture the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story, “Cold Pastoral,” was published in NewYorker.com just months after her death.
The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories, which, like The Last Lecture, articulate the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be, and how we harness our talents to impact the world.