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Joan L. Cannon Archive

Current Joan L. Cannon Articles


Latter Day Lady Godiva
Surviving Outlook Express
One of the Throng
Be Our Guest?
A Plea for Imagination
Wishing for "A Modest Proposal"
A Curmudgeon's Complaint
Lost: An Incredible Emporium
Am I Wearing Out My Welcome?
To Write a Paragraph
Wasting Words?
What Is a Book Club?
How To ... ?
Worth Revisiting: Islandia by Austen Tappan Wright
Road Trip
Making (Thoughtful) Plans for a Retirement Home
Stumbling on Secrets
Musing on the Triple Crown
Read or Listen?
A Scrim of Memory; A Meditation on Reunions
Love, an Inspiration ... or Not?
The Question of Downsizing and The Three Deer
To Read and To Write
Lesson Number One
Liberal Arts and Empathy in Medicine
An Old Story and a Cautionary Tale
An Apology for Demon Rum
Where Has All the Joy Gone?
A Puzzlement
Clues to a Marriage
Hands in Glove
Why Write? It's Like Everest — Because It's There
Suspense, Motives, Reactions, and Emotions: How Do Authors Do It?


CultureWatch: Pulitzer winner The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao is horrifying and often funny, gripping, sad and cathartic in the Aristotelian sense. Alice Hoffman's The Third Angel is literate, out-of-the-ordinary fiction. Robert Parker's Sea Change is a suspenseful story that carries one or two moral messages

CultureWatch: The Other is based on connotations stirred by an ironically simple and brief quotation from Rimbaud, Je est un autre.

CultureWatch: The Monster of Florence readers will find it fascinating, frustrating and challenging

CultureWatch in Paperback: 1421, The Year China Discovered America makes even relatively ancient history shine with the luster of adventure and amazement

CultureWatch: Chinese Lessons is written in an artful and entertaining style; China's Government policies are not soft-pedaled.

CultureWatch: Where the Lake Becomes the River is a treasure for lovers of psychological fiction and a story to savor

CultureWatch: Wallace Stegner's Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs demonstrates that as a writer of style and elegance, he has few equals. Rancho Weirdo by Laura Chester contains humor that is integral, not incidental, and they are wonderfully irreverent tales

CultureWatch: Quite a Year for Plums' characters are a Southern collection of psychologically scarred individuals endowed with flaws that don't become burlesque.

CultureWatch: Somewhere Near the End by Diana Athill: Entertaining and challenging; a literate as well as a literary delight.

CultureWatch: The Elegance of the Hedgehog is so dense that it is good for several days' reading; boring it is not.

CultureWatch: Each one of John Updike's My Father's Tears and Other Stories makes the reader fully aware of the writer's sense of mortality. These stories come from the imagination and the history of an aging artist. My Father's Tears is not to be missed

CultureWatch: Nine Lives, Death and Life in New Orleans may be nonfiction, but the author makes it as affecting as any novelist could

Worth Revisiting: Islandia By Austen Tappan Wright

CultureWatch: Kristin Hannah's The Winter Garden is a slightly flawed but enjoyable tale about people who fit the fiction, but some perhaps not quite to the life

Book Review, Mark C. Taylor's Field Notes From Elsewhere

Review of the novel Luncheon of the Boating Party, a kind of hybrid of fictionalized biography, historical novel, and discourse on painting techniques of the Impressionists

Reviews, CultureWatch: The Anthologist has a rather bittersweet plot, but includes more criticism, philosophy, and satire than ordinary fiction. Following the Water is actually poetry in prose and science as art, including philosophy and religion without confrontation.

Review, CultureWatch: The Constant Liberal: The Life and Work of Phyllis Bottome. There is a dichotomy evident in Phyllis Bottome's equal determination to do something about injustice and inequity wherever she saw it. Imagine a family that be called dysfunctional mostly because of the self-absorbed and seemingly callous mother who vastly preferred her sister, and a father who was the stereotypical, distant pater familias as the breeding ground for an extraordinarily independent mind.

Review, CultureWatch: South of Broad " is rewarding because of its very richness of detail, its elaboration of social argument, its cast of people who are mostly larger than life"

Review, CultureWatch: Dropped Threads Trilogy: Thirty-five women write about what they wish they had known earlier. Dropped Threads is an enticing title for a collection of essays drawn from many different perspectives

Review, CultureWatch: The Map of True Places is a real psychological novel, dealing with layers of each personality and enough mystery to keep it moving with plenty of impetus

Review, CultureWatch: The City of God is as rich in lofty thinking, baroque writing, sympathetic characters, vivid settings, and suspense as anything you are likely to see more than once or twice in a lifetime. Take your time, but read it

Review, CultureWatch:: In Jane Fonda; The Private Life of a Public Woman, Bosworth explores the ambivalences of Jane Fonda as artist, romantic, businesswoman, femme fatale, and partly finished intellectual

Review, CultureWatch: Nina Balatka by Trollope is a welcome change of pace for most of us who aren’t ashamed to enjoy a romance, or in need of some entertaining preaching, even if it is to the choir

Review, CultureWatch: Richard Morgan has crafted a story of the life of Daniel Boone in Boone, A Biography, to rival the best fiction, while demonstrating the most diligent scholarship and devotion to primary sources any reader could ask for



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