Volume I, Issue 25
November 24 - December 1, 1997
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The Rest of His Days
Author Lars Eighner and his famous dog Lizbeth are struggling to stay off the streets again. 
Thomas Lynch believes in the physical acts of embalming and burial, the rituals that allow us to face death as we face the dead. He also knows they provide plenty of material. Meet the undertaker as raconteur. 
Outdoor humorist Patrick McManus is a master of book-signing chat. 
Though Vivian Gornick derides Tucson's ability to inspire, she's just published a book of critical essays, "The End of the Novel of Love," which she conceived six years ago while teaching here. 
A Tale Of (At Least) Two Imaginary Cities
When is a fiction not a fiction? And who the hell cares? 
Author William Greider explores the increasing difficulties caused by unchecked wealth. 
Library of America
With two retrospectives, the Library of America installs hardboiled crime-fiction writers alongside the masters. 
In the jazz wars, author Tom Piazza carries Wynton's flag. 
Sex, Shrugs and Rock 'n' Roll
How bad can a book about about America's best/worst schlock rock band be? Pretty bad. 
When last we heard from cartoonist Ted Rall, he was telling us to quit work and do something meaningful. Guess what -- he took his own advice. 
ooh, there's some disturbing material in this week's Books section.
Read no farther if you're weak of heart.
First off, this here article about Lars Eighner tells a story
almost as tragic as that of Elvis Presley. Like the King, Lars
went from having nothing, to having everything, to having nothing
again -- all in a few short years. The homeless writer won accolades
after publishing "Travels with Lizbeth," lived large
on royalties for a while, then went broke after failing to produce
another big seller. Now he's on the streets again. Care to help?
Buy his book.
Eighner's tale may be sad, but it's nothing compared to the
stories related in Thomas Lynch's "The Undertaking: Life
Studies From the Dismal Trade." As the title suggests, Lynch
works as an undertaker, and all his book's insights stem from
his observations at funerals. There's some levity within the pages,
however: at one point, Lynch lays out a proposal that golf courses
and cemetaries be combined. This interview explains.
Then there's Vivian Gornick. Instead of writing about failure
and success, or life and death, Gornick writes about the nonexistence
of love. Her book, "The End of the Novel of Love," lays
bare Gornick's belief that love is an illusion which has no place
in our 20th-century cultural narrative; for her, happy endings
can just as well be divorces as marriages. No love? That gives
me the chills.
There's plenty more disturbing material in the following reads:
Brrr! Get me out of here!
"Speaking Freely: A Memoir" by Nat Hentoff; "Byrne" by Anthony Burgess; "The Autobiography of Foudini M. Cat" by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer; "Best American Gay Fiction 2" by Brian Bouldrey. 
Susan Schuurman, Stephan Ausherman, Leslie Davis, Chris Romero
A Potpourri of Pages
Reviews of Ken Auletta's chronicle of the corporate Internet wars, Patrick McGilligan's biography of Fritz Lang, and Mary Doria Russell's novel "The Sparrow." 
Stuart Wade, Chris Baker, and Adrienne Martini
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