cover image True Love Waits: Essays and Criticism

True Love Waits: Essays and Criticism

Wendy Kaminer. Addison Wesley Publishing Company, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-201-48914-9

This is an aggravating collection by a tough-minded thinker, who quite accurately describes herself as having ""a compulsion to hold forth."" Kaminer (I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional) holds forth on such topics as sex, feminism, politics, gun control, divorce laws, freedom of speech and Hillary Clinton's lack of charisma. She has a gift for the pithy phrase (""Publishing activity, like premarital sex, begins early these days"") and an unerring eye for both sides of a question. She has no tolerance for feminist scholars who indulge in language abuse, e.g., Sally Cline: ""Women who opt for celibacy should have their positive choice in the direction of personal independence and political empowerment validated and approved."" But Kaminer herself uses words like ""inapt"" and ""inartful,"" and she claims that opinion polls may ""adumbrate unarticulated ambivalence."" People in glass houses? What gets in the reader's way here is that the pieces are undated and unattributed (they appear to range in time from the early 1980s to the present). Knowing where an essay or a review appeared is important. It identifies the intellectual context. Worse is the fact that the numerous reviews often fail to identify fully the book under discussion. Kaminer's ideas are challenging and interesting enough to merit a better showcase. (Apr.)