Good Boys and Dead Girls: And Other Essays

Mary Gordon, Author Viking Books $19.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-670-82567-7
In 28 captivating, provocative, iconoclastic essays and reviews (all but the title piece previously published), novelist Gordon ( Final Payments ) describes her pregnancy, visits Marilyn Monroe's grave and gives a feminist reading of American literature from Faulkner to Updike. Growing up Catholic--her mother Irish-Italian, her father a right-wing Jewish intellectual who for a while posed as a Presbyterian--Gordon found salvation in art. She analyzes Irish-American puritanism as ``a desire to hide for self-protection.'' Her cultural criticism ranges widely, from East German novelist Christa Wolf to Mary Cassatt, Edith Wharton, Stevie Smith and Ford Madox Ford, whom she admires greatly. Two sensitive pieces probe the moral and psychological complexities of abortion. With her uncanny powers of observation, Gordon's combative, generous, witty essays embody a clear-eyed vision of what counts in literature and in life. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-14-011693-9
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