Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I Can't Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays

I can't complain about Elinor Lipman's collection of personal essays, the majority of which were published elsewhere first, but can now be found in this slim volume. I sped right through these brief forays into her private life, and though I've never read her before, I learned a lot about her childhood, marriage, motherhood, and personal writing style. I hope these essays serve as a solid introduction to Lipman's fiction writing as I now want to read her novels.

Gleaned from Good Housekeeping, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Gourmet, More, Salon, and the Washington Post, among others, the selections from I Can't Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays span several decades and cover varied topics, from online dating to writing a novel without an outline. The writerly side of me appreciated her explanations of naming characters and developing them by giving them unique appetites. As a woman, I enjoyed her relationship perspectives and comments on social functions. Mothers new and experienced will relate to her anxieties and joys in raising her son. Readers in general will find her insights and honest humor refreshing.

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