In Brief by Mary Paumier Jones
Short Takes on the Personal

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Synopsis

An exciting new anthology by the editors of the popular In Short, about which Publishers Weekly said: "Even readers skeptical of short-attention-span publishing will find these shorts addictive."

In their previous collection Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones coined the term "short" for those creative nonfiction pieces — literary rather than informational, and characteristically short — that are attracting our finest writers. Now, with a more introspective focus, this new collection emphasizes the personal as "a way of seeing the world, of expressing an interior life. It is intimate without being maudlin, it is private without being secret." From Harriet Doerr's recollection of a halcyon time to Josephine Jacobsen's reverie on memory, In Brief offers vivid glimpses into the ways experience can be shaped in language that is fresh and inventive. The seventy-two authors here include the known — John McPhee, Cythia Ozick, James Salter — as well as remarkable new writers. Essays (all under 2000 words) range from Frank McCourt's search for his father in the pubs of Limerick to William Maxwell's thoughts about growing old; from Charles Baxter's early experience of reading to Brady Udall's confession as a liar. Patricia Hampl recalls meals at her grandmother's house, while Jane Brox contemplates the meaning of bread. In each piece, imagination becomes a way to explore reality. The real world we are fortunate enough to live in is revealed as endlessly rich and deep.
 

About Mary Paumier Jones

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Judith Kitchen , poet, novelist, and essayist, lives in Port Townsend, Washington, where she and her husband have established a low-residency writing program. She is poetry reviewer of The Georgia Review . Mary Paumier Jones lives in Rochester. Jones, who teaches creative nonfiction, has a degree in library science.
 
Published June 17, 1999 by W. W. Norton & Company. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for In Brief

Publishers Weekly

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Noting the proliferation of creative nonfiction pieces less than 2000 words long--ranging from fragment to finished essay, anecdote to memoir, story, meditation, hypothesis--editors Kitchen and Jo

Jun 14 1999 | Read Full Review of In Brief: Short Takes on the ...

The New York Times

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(''He intuits for the first time the concertina of his being, the way he is pleated into history and life.'') ''Fetish Lives'' asks a lot of its audience: a working knowledge of its characters' real biographies, the patience to wade through oblique descriptive passages and, most important, a beli...

Oct 11 1998 | Read Full Review of In Brief: Short Takes on the ...

The New York Times

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In his book, Mr. Jones takes himself solemnly as an artist, as the embodiment of Eros and, in his discussion of "Still/ Here," his evening-length spectacle about mortality, as an instrument of therapeutic self-knowledge for his dancers and admirers.

Sep 10 1995 | Read Full Review of In Brief: Short Takes on the ...

The New York Times

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Which is more than you could say for Allende or Frei or Alessandri, isn't it?'') Father Urrutia's final recollection is of Pinochet-era literary gatherings at the home of a local writer and her American husband (transparently based on the former ambassador Orlando Letelier's assassin and the assa...

Jan 11 2004 | Read Full Review of In Brief: Short Takes on the ...

Publishers Weekly

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In ""Low Tide at Four,"" Harriet Doerr muses about a day in August, 1939, when she ""exerted the full force of [her] will, commanding the sun to hold back the wave long enough for [her] to paint and frame low tide."" William Maxwell sees his ""ninetieth birthday approaching out of the corner of o...

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BC Books

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NBM’s promo correctly notes that Houston’s art owes a debt to classic cartoon uglifiers Ralph Steadman and Basil Wolverton, but I also see elements of the Chiodo Bros’ Killer Klowns from Outer Space — and not just in the sequence where the whacked-out Pope crashes a late-night clown bacchanal.

Dec 28 2009 | Read Full Review of In Brief: Short Takes on the ...

New York Magazine

It’s not at all hard to imagine the movie version of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, the serialized newspaper spoof of Pride and Prejudice that took England by storm (Viking;

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