Sunday, July 17, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I hereby declare this week to be


a celebration of the novelary talents of the amazingingly marvelous Anna Quindlen.

Ms. Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize winner for her commentary. She is a wife; she is a mom. 

In fact, as far as I'm concerned, Anna Quindlen is all things.

I loved it when she and George Will took turns writing the last page of commentary in Newsweek. I didn't care much about what George had to say, but seeing George made me look forward even more to Anna's return the following week. I frequently saved her columns from the magazine and left them on Someone I Love's bed for her to read when she came home on breaks from school. Someone I Love and I then had lovely discussions about what our beloved Anna had to say because she said it so well and we always agreed with her and we often learned something new from her.

But during Annafest I want to focus on Quindlen's novels because I know you will want to read them. I am so convinced of it that I think taking a Quindlen novel into the bathroom will allow Sandra of Absolutely Narcissism to become so immersed in reading whilst on her throne that the cat at the door will not even bother her and she will leave the bathroom singing the praises of Anna Quindlen because she, Sandra that is, will have had a great poop.

A blurb on the back of her earliest novels states: "At the heart of all these novels, beneath the facade of dramatic events that appear to be the driving force behind them, lies Anna Quindlen's true mission: the exploration of changing identity."

But in my considered opinion, this blurb simplifies Quindlen's novels in a similar fashion to critics who say that Jane Austen's novels are about marriage.

On the surface, yes, Austen writes about marriage, but she does so much more. She writes about a woman's sometimes desperate need to marry, about the fears and failures women experience when they have no hope of marrying or they are left widows and the estate is entailed, and about the freedom the economically independent woman has. No one boils down a character and can make us understand the character completely in fewer words than Jane Austen can.

Likewise, there is so much to be explored about Anna Quindlen.

There's plenty of summer left. Tune in this week and I hope you'll choose the Quindlen novel that interests you the most and get busy reading and feeling fascinated and engaged by her writing and her characters.

More Annafest tomorrow, starting with her first novels.

Infinities of love and Anna,


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