Weekly Wire
Books
Volume I, Issue 51
May 26 - June 1, 1998  
 
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Judy Blume for President [2]
There is a large body of evidence to the effect that Judy Blume is responsible for puberty as we know it.
— Ellen Barry, THE BOSTON PHOENIX
 
Word on the Street [3]
Trying to get through the boring daze of summer? Here are a few book suggestions.
— Various Reviewers, TUCSON WEEKLY
 

Non-fiction
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Backstage Diving [6]
It's interesting when people die. Give us dirty laundry.
— Shelly Ridenour, NEWCITY CHICAGO
 
Oral Pleasures [7]
Henry Buchanan's "And The Goat Cried" should be read aloud.
— Chris Davis, MEMPHIS FLYER
 
Uneasy Riders [8]
Three new books about seventies films.
— Sam Weller, NEWCITY CHICAGO
 
Accidental Terrorist [9]
Most of the 960 pages of "The World's Most Dangerous Places" allow the reader to mosey into the gaping craw of hell and come out laughing.
— Stephen Ausherman, WEEKLY ALIBI
 
Mighty Anthropomorphin' [10]
Gordon Grice, a naturalist, professes a fascination bordering on love for the black widow spider in this collection of essays.
— Gregory McNamee, TUCSON WEEKLY
 
Beale Street Talks, Again [11]
A new book recounts the history of "Negro America's Main Street."
— Mark Jordan, MEMPHIS FLYER
 

Fiction
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Midwestern Gothic [4]
In "Now It's Time To Say Goodbye," novelist Dale Peck takes maximalism to the max.
— James Surowiecki, THE BOSTON PHOENIX
 
Crossing the Line [5]
Two new books from Barry Gifford.
— Ray Woodring, NEWCITY CHICAGO
 

Now What? [14]
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets.
WEEKLY WIRE
 


A










LETTER FROM THE EDITOR:

re you there, God? It's me, Margaret.

If the above words mean nothing to you, then you've missed out on an entire childhood phenomenon: the insightful, adolescence-oriented books of novelist Judy Blume.

At my gradeschool, Judy Blume's books captured our emotions in ways few writers ever came near. From "Blubber" to "Superfudge," Blume would spin yarns that took all childhood's humiliation, low self-esteem and peer cruelty, and turned them palpable, sympathetic and occasionally humorous.

Despite blunt passages about first periods and training bras, girls weren't the only ones who loved her work. Us guys would spend many a recess trading the books and discussing their finer points, like the nastier Blubber insults, or Superfudge's kookiest comic hijinks. (Although we still aren't sure what a "hijink" is.)

And then the inexplicable happened: Blume decided she'd had enough of kids' stories for a while, so she turned to adult fiction. You know, the icky kind. And from then on, recess got a little weird, as the boys and girls took turns giggling over passages from "Wifey." Passages like: "His penis, fat and inviting, peeked out from behind the bush."

Now Blume is at it again, with yet another adult novel. We never understood why she betrayed us as kids, but maybe this interview will finally explain it. Then again, maybe it won't.


Mini Reviews
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Speed Reader [13]
Reviewed: "More Than a Champion" by Jan Phillip Reemtsma; "The Powers That Be" by Walter Wink; "A Stranger's Neighborhood" by Donald Morrill; and "A Wave" by John Ashbery.
— Isak Howell, Julie Birnbaum, Stephen Ausherman, and Brendan Doherty, WEEKLY ALIBI
 

Poetry
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Small Victories [12]
Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska's Nobel prize has prompted the release of her life's work.
— Graham Christian, THE BOSTON PHOENIX
 


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