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“The Essays of Leonard Michaels”

The Essays of Leonard MichaelsLeonard Michaels, who died in 2003, was best known for his short stories; “The Essays of Leonard Michaels” will appeal to fans of his fiction. The Los Angeles Times calls the book “a collection of brilliant, funny, uncategorizable pieces published for the first time under one cover,” and goes on to say, “His fiction resembles his nonfiction, and together the pieces compose a fragmented, excited monologue addressed to you, reader.” Edited by Michaels’s widow, Katharine Ogden Michaels, the book explores a wide range of topics, from personal experiences to literary criticism. The Washington Post says, “it packs a lot of punch and is filled, as was all his work, with sentences that border on poetry.” And the New York Times lauds “Michaels’s timing, wit and instinctively good prose”:

Whatever the subject matter — and the essays here range from Edward Hopper to the Rita Hayworth vehicle “Gilda” to Yiddish, his first language — Michaels channels the full force of his intellectual and narrative abilities into a voice that is at once sensitive and unyielding.


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