Monday, July 9, 2012

"Death by a Thousand Choices"

I hadn't heard or read anything from columnist Anna Quindlen for quite some time now and so was surprised to learn she'd written a memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake.

One mot juste that is among my all-time favorites is from the pages of The American Spectator back in the 1980s, from its "Current Wisdom" section.  It's there that the magazine's editors supply snippets of liberal nonsense that recently happen to fertilize the pages of their own sundry publications.  In one issue of the Spectator way back then--long before the Internet--I was laugh-out-loud amused to find at the end of that month's supply this sentence:  "Anna Quindlen is on vacation."

It was with that in mind that I read in the most recent issue of National Review, Florence King's less than favorable review of Quindlen's new book.  She begins with this and I love it:
A memoir, while not hemmed in by the strict classical rules that define poetry, nonetheless needs a certain amount of control to give it narrative thrust, a modicum of suspense, and something resembling an orderly timeline.  Do not expect such leisurely, reflective writing from Anna Quindlen.  She was born at the perfect statistical moment to experience firsthand the death by a thousand choices inflicted on American women by the feminist movement, and her memoir is a scattershot overview of every conflict, emotion, experience, wish, regret, and opinion she has ever had from her birth in 1952 to her publisher's deadline for this manuscript. (my italics)