Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"I Can't Complain," by Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman is known for her entertaining novels, her personal essays, and her humorous but pointed political commentary in the form of verse. “I Can’t Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays” (Houghton Mifflin, 2013) is a smallish (161 pages), varied, and very enjoyable collection of essays, all but one essay previously published in various magazines and newspapers. Thus they are short, catchy, light as a feather but not lightweight, and although sometimes about very serious topics, never too dour. They are grouped into four categories: “Meet the Family,” “On Writing,” “Coupling Columns” (about romance and marriage), and “Since Then” (about life after her husband’s recent death). She writes about her mother, her son, her husband, soap opera, food, cleaning, having one’s book made into a movie, New York, blurbing, author’s anxieties, and much more. One of the most touching and moving essays, “This Is for You,” was published in the New York Times’ Modern Love column (as “Sweetest at the End”), and is about her husband, before and during his cruel last illness, and her relationship with him over the years. (He is also featured in a few others of the essays.) Another, titled “I Still Think, Call Her,” is a lovely tribute to her late mother. This is an entertaining, heartwarming book; I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and was touched by it as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter