April 10, 2021

“A Most Clever Girl,” by Jasmine A. Stirling, A Book Review

“A Most Clever Girl,” by Jasmine A. Stirling, A Book Review

In Jasmine A. Stirling’s debut children’s book, A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice, she paints a kid-friendly portrait of the literary life of Jane Austen. As a rule-breaking and imaginative child, young Jane was to become one of the first female novelists—and a massively successful one at that. A Most Clever Girl highlights Austen’s determination in the face of adversity in a time when a woman writing books was simply preposterous and the only roles women had in literature (“fluff” she calls it) were one-dimensional. Focusing on Austen’s childhood, Stirling implores children to see themselves in the character enthralled in a world of writing stories in her study, performing plays with her large family in their barn and staging dramatic readings of her work. Young readers also learn about finding their…

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July 6, 2020

“The Life and Death of Arthur Miller,” by Andrew Lafleche

“The Life and Death of Arthur Miller,” by Andrew Lafleche

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ARTHUR MILLER or, Damnationem Vita et Humani Conditione  Fourteen days after Arthur Miller’s sixteenth birthday, both his parents were killed in an automobile accident when a drunken driver swerved into their lane as they returned home from a night at the theater. Their deaths occurred instantly, and to that effect, neither were able to be presented with an open coffin at their post-life nuptials. The last time Arthur saw his parents alive was in the moments following Sunday dinner, his mother in a dress, glowing, his father dressed handsomely, saying, “When you finally meet the woman who makes the world stand still, son, don’t ever quit doing for her what you did at the start. That way there will never be an end.”  Arthur clung to these words in the weeks that followed. He clung to everything…

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