Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 29
December 22 - December 29, 1997

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In Person
Poet and translator Ellen Doré Watson recently visited UT. [2]
Claiborne K.H. Smith

Translating Stories
Marc Stengel talks to novelist Christine Bell. [3]
Marc Stengel

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Fiction Burn
Hot young actor Ethan Hawke's first novel doesn't completely suck. [4]
James DiGiovanna

Bah, Humbug
David Sedaris is at once elf, Scrooge, and true believer. [5]
Leonard Gill

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Paint Him Black
Johnny Cash's new autobiography portrays him as the last hero of a dying South. [6]
Chris Herrington

Art That Speaks for Itself
Art and photo books are enhanced all the more by good writing. [7]
Claiborne K.H. Smith

A Hundred's Not Enough
A roundup of art and photo books that cross the broad scope of our culture. [8]
Margaret Moser

Nuke Joint
Author Jo Ann Shroyer takes a peek inside Los Alamos National Laboratory, cradle of the A-bomb. [9]
Gregory McNamee

American Outback
The little-chronicled Great Basin has found a redoubtable champion in Stephen Trimble. His "Sagebrush Ocean" is a fine addition to the library of any desert rat. [10]
Gregory McNamee

Now What?
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. [13]


h my me! Like two turtle doves, everything this week comes in pairs. Well, not everything, but enough to double your pleasure. Just look at these two interviews, for example. First there's Ellen Doré Watson, a poet, translator and EMT worker whose (strange, novel) goal is to reach ordinary people, not other poets. Then there's Christine Bell, whose novel "The Perez Family" was cut up and shuffled about by director Mira Nair. Imagine the horror of seeing your favorite character-creation inhabited by Marisa Tomei.

This is followed by a dynamic duo of celebrity books: Ethan Hawke's hot, sexy "novel" and Johnny Cash's prophetic autobiography. Hawke earns points for proving that studly young actors can turn out literary work that "doesn't completely suck," while Johnny Cash earns points for just being Johnny Cash.

Rounding out this mysterious doubling effect are a couple of art and photography collections. Perfect for your coffee table, especially if you need something big, flat and hard to write on, these books celebrate the literary power of "the image." Alright so I made that up, but you can look at them again and again, sometimes over coffee with a pal.

Speaking of pals, let everyone's pal Blake de Pastino fulfill your last-minute shopping needs with this list of easy-to-find used books that make good Christmas presents. For only about four bucks apiece, I can't argue with him. He's my pal.

Welp, I'm off to do a little Christmas eating. Next time you see me I'll be fat.

Mini Reviews
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Give the Gift of Pulp

  • Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria by Sigmund Freud
  • Ransom by Jay McInerney
  • New Mexico by Marc Simmons
  • Essays by Michel de Montaigne
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Speed Reader

  • The Photography Book by Ian Jeffrey
  • 6 Chapters in Design by Philip Meggs
  • Buddha Book by Frank Olinsky
  • Decorative Paint Recipes by Richard Lowther and Lynne Robinson

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