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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for June, 2002

A Week in Literary History

June 29th, 2002

French writer and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Night Flight, 1931) is born in 1900 in Lyon.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, b. June 29, 1900, d. 1944

saint-exupérycolorSaint-Exupéry is unique among famous writers as the only one whose writing is about being a pilot. By 1931, with the publication of Vol de nuit (Night Flight), he was already a literary star, and that star ascended until his death (he disappeared flying solo during World War II) in 1944.

Suggested Reading Fiction The Aviator, 1926. Southern Mail, 1929. Night Flight, 1931. Terre des hommes, 1939. Wind, Sand and Stars, 1940. Fight to Arras, 1943. Children’s book The Little Prince, 1943.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 28th, 2002

In 1908, evocative English travel writer Norman Lewis (A Goddess in the Stones, 1991) is born in Forty Hill, North London.

lewisnorman.pngNorman Lewis, b. June 28, 1908, d. 2003

Lewis wrote novels all his long life, but he will be remembered for his vivid travelogues, in which he described in telling detail his voyages in Europe and Asia. His autobiographical writings, also imbued with his wanderings, paint a portrait of the ideal traveler: curious, sympathetic, and brave. Graham Greene called Lewis “one of the best writers, not of any particular decade, but of our century.”

Suggested Reading Travel Spanish Adventure, 1935. Sand and Sea in Arabia, 1938. A Dragon Apparent, 1951. Golden Earth, 1952. The Honoured Society, 1964. The Missionaries, 1988. A Goddess in the Stones, 1991. An Empire of the East, 1993. In Sicily, 2000. Autobiography Naples ’44, 1978. Jackdaw Cake, 1985. The World, the World, 1996.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 28th, 2002

In 1908, evocative English travel writer Norman Lewis (A Goddess in the Stones, 1991) is born in Forty Hill, North London.

Norman Lewis, b. June 28, 1908, d. 2003

lewisnorman.pngLewis wrote novels all his long life, but he will be remembered for his vivid travelogues, in which he described in telling detail his voyages in Europe and Asia. His autobiographical writings, also imbued with his wanderings, paint a portrait of the ideal traveler: curious, sympathetic, and brave. Graham Greene called Lewis “one of the best writers, not of any particular decade, but of our century.”

Suggested Reading Travel Spanish Adventure, 1935. Sand and Sea in Arabia, 1938. A Dragon Apparent, 1951. Golden Earth, 1952. The Honoured Society, 1964. The Missionaries, 1988. A Goddess in the Stones, 1991. An Empire of the East, 1993. In Sicily, 2000. Autobiography Naples ’44, 1978. Jackdaw Cake, 1985. The World, the World, 1996.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 27th, 2002

American novelist Richard Bissell (Good-bye, Ava, 1960) is born in 1913 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Richard Bissell, b. June 27, 1913 d. 1977

Bissell’s a minor writer, one supposes, but nevertheless a very enjoyable one. His 1953 novel 7½ Cents became the Broadway musical The Pajama Game, but his real contribution was his series of novels depicting life on the Mississippi River, all of them very funny and extremely well written.

Suggested Reading Novels A Stretch on the River, 1950. 7½ Cents, 1953. High Water, 1954. Good Bye, Ava, 1960.  Non-fiction Life on the Mississippi: or, Why I Am Not Mark Twain, 1973.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 26th, 2002

In 1892, American novelist Pearl S. Buck (The Good Earth, 1931) is born in Hillsboro, W. Va. She will win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.

buck.jpgPearl Buck, b. June 26, 1892, d. 1973

Although Pearl Buck’s work has been ignored by the literary establishment, no one else has described rural Chinese life of the early twentieth century with more accuracy or compassion. In 1938 she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature.

Suggested reading Novels The House of Earth Trilogy: The Good Earth, 1931; Sons, 1933; A House Divided, 1935. China Sky, 1941. China Flight, 1943. Letter from Peking, 1957. Biography The Exile, 1936. Fighting Angel, 1936. Autobiography My Several Worlds, 1954. A Bridge for Passing, 1962.

Posted by: The Editors
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A Week in Literary History

June 25th, 2002

English novelist George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-four, 1949) is born Eric Arthur Blair in Bengal, 1903.

orwellGeorge Orwell, b. June 25, 1903, d. 1950

A tireless pamphleteer, critic and journalist, Orwell will be cherished forever for his clear, luminous prose style. As a novelist and memoirist, he stands almost alone among writers in English in the twentieth century for his unflagging commitment to social themes and for his prescience in lacerating the wrong turns taken in the world of politics.

Suggested Reading Novels Burmese Days, 1934. Keep the Aspidistra Flying, 1936. Coming Up for Air, 1939. Animal Farm, 1945. Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949. Nonfiction Down and Out in Paris and London, 1933. The Road to Wigan Pier, 1937. Homage to Catalonia, 1938. The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, 1941. The English People, 1947.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 24th, 2002

In 1842, American journalist Ambrose Bierce (The Devil’s Dictionary, originally The Cynic’s Word Book, 1906), is born in Meigs County, Ohio.

biercecolorAmbrose Bierce, b. June 24, 1842, d. 1914

Bierce became a legend of the American West after he disappeared while traveling with Pancho Villa’s army in 1913. He was the most famous western author long before his death, admired for his short stories, especially stories about the Civil War, his acidic journalism, and his imperishable collection The Devil’s Dictionary, originally published as The Cynic’s Wordbook in 1906.

Suggested Reading Books Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, 1891. Fantastic Fables, 1899. The shadow on the dial, and other essays, 1909. Write It Right, 1909. The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911. Short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 21st, 2002

Prize-winning English novelist Ian McEwan (Amsterdam, 1998) is born in 1948 in Aldershot.

Ian McEwan, b. June 21, 1948

mcewan.jpgMcEwan, now in his early sixties, is generally regarded as England’s foremost living novelist. He has won the Booker Prize and a slew of others, and he seems to go from strength to strength in an oeuvre that ranges from the bizarre and chilling to the emotionally powerful. He started by writing short stories, and these are a wonderful place to start reading him. Then go on to his ten novels, each quite different from the others, and each memorable.

Suggested Reading Stories First Love, Last Rites, 1975. In Between the Sheets, 1978. Novels The Cement Garden, 1978. The Comfort of Strangers, 1981. The Child in Time, 1987. The Innocent, 1989. Black Dogs, 1992. The Daydreamer, 1994. Enduring Love, 1997. Amsterdam, 1998. Atonement, 2001. Saturday, 2005. On Chesil Beach, 2007

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 21st, 2002

American novelist Mary McCarthy (The Group, 1962) is born in 1912 in Seattle, Wash.

Mary McCarthy, b. June 21, 1912, d. 1989

mccarthymary.pngMcCarthy achieved success and notoriety with her first novel, The Company She Keeps, which depicted the social milieu of 1930s New York intellectuals with brutal frankness. She had a huge bestseller with The Group twenty years later and thereafter preserved her reputation as a satirist with many novels and essays. She also excelled at travel writing and non-fiction and at outing the reprehensible Lillian Hellman as a liar and Stalin supporter.

Suggested Reading Novels The Company She Keeps, 1942. The Groves of Academe, 1952. The Group, 1962. Birds of America, 1971. Cannibals and Missionaries, 1979. Travel Venice Observed, 1956. The Stones of Florence, 1956. Vietnam, 1967. Hanoi, 1968. Non-fiction On the Contrary, 1961. The Writing on the Wall, 1970. The Mask of State: Watergate Portraits, 1974. Ideas and the Novel, 1980. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays, 2002. Memoirs Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, 1957. How I Grew, 1987. Intellectual Memoirs, 1992.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

A Week in Literary History

June 21st, 2002

In 1905, existentialist philosopher, novelist, and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea, 1938) is born in Paris. In 1946, he will refuse the Nobel Prize.

sartre*Jean-Paul Sartre, b. June 21, 1905, d. 1980

An enormously influential philosopher, critic, and creative artist, Sartre was blamed for the excesses of the various French critics who followed him. In fact, he was a potent and clear thinker whose ideas were not taken up by his successors, who often mocked him, as in this couplet:

Jean-Paul Sartre
Is a fartre.

Suggested Reading Novels Nausea, 1938. The Age of Reason, 1945. Plays The Flies 1943. No Exit, 1944. Philosophy Being and Nothingness, 1943. Existentialism is a Humanism, 1946. Essays Situations I-X, 1947-1976.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

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