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In the Book Review

There are several really good books covered in this week's Book Review, but the one that I'm sure to get hold of is Min Jin Lee's Free Food For Millionaires, on the strength of Liesl Schillinger's excellent review. If unconstrained by space and time, I'd also read the Politkovskaya diaries, the biography of Condoleezza Rice, and Paul Collier's book about African poverty. Mildred Armstrong Kalish's memoir of growing up on a farm in Iowa looks very good, too, although it also seems strangely out of time. Elizabeth Gilbert's review makes it sound like something published in the Fifties at the latest.

Kalish is wise enough to know that the last link to the past is usually language, and rather than lament what’s been lost, she stays connected to her youthful world by using its gleeful, if outdated, lingo. (Tell me the last time you heard someone exclaim, “Not on your tintype!” or “Gosh all hemlock!”) She admits self-deprecatingly that there were certain expressions she heard spoken so often as a child that she grew up mistakenly thinking they were each a single word: “agoodwoman, hardearnedmoney, agoodhardworker, alittleheathen, adrunkenbum, demonrum and agoodwoolskirt.”

I don't know how much of that sort of thing I could take.

The Home Place.


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