Michelle Dean - Sharp - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349005393
    • Publication date:23 Apr 2018
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    • ISBN:9780349005409
    • Publication date:03 May 2018

Sharp

The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion

By Michelle Dean

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Sharp tells the riveting stories of the fiercely intelligent, glamorous and iconoclastic twentieth-century women who made their way to Manhattan to forge spectacular literary careers, from Dorothy Parker to Joan Didion.

A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

'This is such a great idea for a book, and Michelle Dean carries it off, showing us the complexities of her fascinating, extraordinary subjects, in print and out in the world. Dean writes with vigor, depth, knowledge and absorption, and as a result Sharp is a real achievement' Meg Wolitzer, New York Times

Dorothy Parker, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron and Janet Malcolm are just some of the women whose lives intertwined as they cut through twentieth-century cultural and intellectual life in the United States, arguing as fervently with each other as they did with the men who so often belittled their work as journalists, novelists, critics and poets. These women are united by their 'sharpness': an accuracy and precision of thought and wit, a claiming of power through their writing.

Sharp is a rich and lively portrait of these women and their world, where Manhattan cocktail parties, fuelled by lethal quantities of both alcohol and gossip, could lead to high-stakes slanging matches in the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books. It is fascinating and revealing on how these women came to be so influential in a climate in which they were routinely met with condescension and derision by their male counterparts.

Michelle Dean mixes biography, criticism and cultural and social history to create an enthralling exploration of how a group of brilliant women became central figures in the world of letters, staked out territory for themselves and began to change the world.

Biographical Notes

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's 2016 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New Yorker, Nation, New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine, Elle and BuzzFeed. She lives in New York City.

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  • ISBN: 9780349005416
  • Publication date: 23 Apr 2018
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  • Imprint: Fleet
There can't be enough cultural histories which make the point that a woman intellectual must represent her own mind, and not the collective mind of all her 'sisters.' Sharp is a brisk, entertaining, well-researched reminder that it's impossible to write - or think - without making life very messy for oneself, but to do so is an achievement well worth the pains — Sheila Heti, author of How Should A Person Be?
I have to recommend Michelle Dean's Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion, a delicious cultural history that comes out in April. It brings together some of the most influential social critics of the 20th century, including Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag and Joan Didion, and shows how these glamorous iconoclasts forged their singular careers. Dean makes the convincing argument that women's voices--if not necessarily feminist ones--did far more to define the last century's intellectual life than we realize — Michelle Goldberg, New York Times
[A] stunning and highly accessible introduction to a group of important writers — Publishers Weekly
Michelle Dean has delivered an exquisite examination - both rigorous and compassionate - of what it has meant to be a woman with a public voice and the power to use it critically. This book is ferociously good — Rebecca Traister, New York Times-bestselling author of All the Single Ladies
This is such a great idea for a book, and Michelle Dean carries it off, showing us the complexities of her fascinating, extraordinary subjects, in print and out in the world. Dean writes with vigor, depth, knowledge and absorption, and as a result Sharp is a real achievement — Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion
This is a great and worthy project: a primer for those for whom these names are new; a sustaining reminder for those already familiar with them. You put it down feeling steadier, more determined — Rachel Cooke, Observer
Michelle Dean's Sharp, a portrait of 10 female writers and thinkers, is a bracing tribute to the life of the iconoclastic mind: a reminder, in our age of flashy hot takes, of the matchless power of sustained and elegant argument — Pankaj Mishra, Guardian
A fascinating analysis of brilliant female writers. By the end you'll want to read something by all of them — Evening Standard
Robinson

When the Clouds Fell from the Sky

Robert Carmichael
Authors:
Robert Carmichael
Robinson

When the Clouds Fell from the Sky

Robert Carmichael
Authors:
Robert Carmichael

'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'During the Khmer Rouge's four-year rule of terror, two million people, or one in every four, Cambodians, died. In describing one family's decades-long quest to learn their husband's and father's fate and the war crimes trial of Comrade Duch (pronounced 'Doyk'), who ran the notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh, where thousands were tortured prior to their execution, When the Clouds Fell from the Sky illuminates not only the tragedy of a nation, but also the fundamental limitations of international justice. In February 2012, the international war crimes court in Cambodia handed down a life sentence to the man known by his revolutionary moniker Comrade Duch. The court found the Khmer Rouge's former security chief responsible for the deaths of more than 12,000 people at S-21 prison.Duch's conviction was historic. 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Sady and Ket grew up together in 1960s' Phnom Penh, so Sady is able to tell us about Ket's early years, She also describes the reality of life under the Khmer Rouge: the forced eviction from Phnom Penh in 1975, the murder of her younger brother in 1977, the deaths of Ket's father and siblings, and her suffering in the rural labour camps. Sady's story is the experience of countless Cambodians.Through these five stories, through the author's own research, through interviews with leading academics, former Khmer Rouge and ordinary Cambodians, and by following Duch's trial, which Robert did for months, the book takes the experience of one forgotten man to tell the story of a nation. Since we cannot grasp the concept of millions of dead, he has used the murder of one to speak for the deaths of many. In so doing the book reaffirms the value of the individual, countering the Khmer Rouge's nihilistic maxim that: 'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'

Little, Brown

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Hachette Books

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Authors:
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Virago

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Authors:
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PublicAffairs

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Authors:
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Little, Brown US

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Authors:
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