Poignant remembrances and sharp observations from the “most able and witty” Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Foreign Affairs (The New York Times).
This engaging new collection of essays from the New York Times–bestselling novelist gathers together her reflections on the writing life; fond recollections of inspiring friends; and perceptive, playful commentary on preoccupations ranging from children’s literature to fashion and feminism.
Citing her husband’s comment to her that “Nobody asked you to write a novel,” Lurie goes on to eloquently explain why there was never another choice for her. She looks back on attending Radcliffe in the 1940s—an era of wartime rations and a wall of sexism where it was understood that Harvard was only for the men.
From offering a gleeful glimpse into Jonathan Miller’s production of Hamlet to memorializing mentors and intimate friends such as poet James Merrill, illustrator Edward Gorey, and New York Times Book Review coeditor Barbara Epstein, Lurie celebrates the creative artists who encouraged and inspired her.
A lifelong devotee of children’s literature, she suggests saying no to Narnia, revisits the phenomenon of Harry Potter, and tells the truth about the ultimate good bad boy, Pinocchio.
Returning to a favorite subject, fashion, Lurie explores the symbolic meaning of aprons, enthuses on how the zipper made dressing and undressing faster—and sexier—and tells how, feeling abandoned by Vogue at age sixty, she finally found herself freed from fashion’s restrictions on women.
Always spirited no matter the subject, Lurie ultimately conveys a joie de vivre that comes from a lifetime of never abandoning her “childish impulse to play with words, to reimagine the world.”