Judy Blume Knows All Your Secrets

“She has no theories, for example, to explain why she, of all people, felt unburdened by the unspoken rules marking certain subjects off limits for children, or why, for that matter, she has that particular gift, that ability to recall the emotional experiences of adolescence, the confusion, the longing, the rivalries — the memories, in other words, that most of us try to bury as quickly and deeply as we can.”

On the Thomas Pynchon Trail

“Now Pynchon hides in plain sight, on the Upper West Side, with a family and a history of contradictions: a child of the postwar Establishment determined to reject it; a postmodernist master who’s called himself a ‘classicist’; a workaholic stoner; a polymath who revels in dirty puns; a literary outsider who’s married to a literary agent; a scourge of capitalism who sent his son to private school and lives in a $1.7 million prewar classic six.”

The Autumn of Joan Didion

Didion’s genius is that she understands what it is to be a girl on the cusp of womanhood, in that fragile, fleeting, emotional time that she explored in a way no one else ever has. Didion is, depending on the reader’s point of view, either an extraordinarily introspective or an extraordinarily narcissistic writer. As such, she is very much like her readers themselves.