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(Re)defining Orphans

Book critic John Leonard says the memoir section of Eileen Simpson's new hybrid book, about her own experiences as an orphan, is compelling and insightful; her later meditations on the idea of orphanhood are less successful.


Philip Roth Writes the "Facts" of His Life

Book critic John Leonard reviews Roth's new autobiography, which includes imagined critiques of the author by some of his recurring characters. Leonard says it's an interesting but tiresome exploration of Roth's neuroses and thematic predilections.


A Legendary Director's "Fear of the Dark"

Book critic John Leonard says that Ingmar Bergman's lacerating new autobiography, The Magic Lantern, is an important literary text. It explores Bergman's bleak inner life as well as his philosophies on filmmaking.


Vivid Portraits of a Musician's Life

Bassist Milt Hinton pushed his instrument to new territories in jazz. He was also an avid photographer, who took pictures other noteworthy musicians during their tours across the country. His new memoir and photography collection is called Bass Lines. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the book brings Hinton out of the shadows.


A Polish Immigrant Embraces Her New Home

Book critic John Leonard reviews Eva Hoffman's new memoir, Lost in Translation, about the writer's childhood in Eastern Europe and later move to North America. Leonard says the book deserves the same praise as other literary memoirs like Nabokov's Speak, Memory and Kingston's The Woman Warrior.

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