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See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2018
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A New York Times Critic's Top Pick of the YearThis essential, enlightening, truly delightful collection shows one of our greatest writers parsing the political, artistic, and media landscape of the past three decades. These sixty-six essays and reviews, culled from the pages of The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, among others, find Lorrie Moore turning her discerning eye on everything from Philip Roth to Margaret Atwood, from race in America to the shocking state of the GOP, from celebrity culture to the wilds of television, from Stephen Sondheim to Barack Obama. See What Can Be Done is a perfect blend of craft, brains, and a knowing, singular take on life, liberty, and the pursuit of (some kind of) happiness.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/03/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781524732493
ASIN:
B073P9WT42
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APA Citation (style guide)

Lorrie Moore. (2018). See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lorrie Moore. 2018. See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lorrie Moore, See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lorrie Moore. See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • value: Poetry
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      • value: biographies
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      • bioText: LORRIE MOORE is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. She is the recipient of the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. She is a board member for the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
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title
See What Can Be Done
fullDescription
A New York Times Critic's Top Pick of the Year
This essential, enlightening, truly delightful collection shows one of our greatest writers parsing the political, artistic, and media landscape of the past three decades. These sixty-six essays and reviews, culled from the pages of The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, among others, find Lorrie Moore turning her discerning eye on everything from Philip Roth to Margaret Atwood, from race in America to the shocking state of the GOP, from celebrity culture to the wilds of television, from Stephen Sondheim to Barack Obama. See What Can Be Done is a perfect blend of craft, brains, and a knowing, singular take on life, liberty, and the pursuit of (some kind of) happiness.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 27, 2017
        Acclaimed fiction writer Moore (Bark: Stories) has compiled her nonfiction writings into a marvelous collection. The chronologically arranged selections, beginning with a 1983 review of Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, include book reviews, personal essays, and cultural criticism on subjects that include Ross Perot and Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential debate and the television documentary OJ: Made in America. The cumulative effect is to provide a window onto the trajectory of both late 20th-century American culture and Moore’s development as a writer. Throughout, her chief virtue as a critic is shown to be a sympathetic, generous eye, which enables Moore to reveal the unique appeal of any given work, whether it’s Ann Beattie’s novel Park City or James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic. Her essays on politics are humorous but more critical, prophetically foreseeing “the televised flattery, the bad candy, the shifting hairstyles—the future of presidential campaigning” familiar today. However, the book’s most deeply felt entries are the meditations on Moore’s craft. In an essay aptly titled “On Writing,” Moore claims “there is nothing more autobiographical than a book review or a violin solo.” If so, then this book provides ample insight into Moore’s inner life; it is certainly a boon to any lover of smart cultural criticism. Agent: Melanie Jackson, Melanie Jackson Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2018
        The award-winning fiction writer gathers essays written over the past three decades.Reviewing Claudia Roth Pierpont's Passionate Minds, Moore (English/Vanderbilt Univ.; Bark: Stories, 2014, etc.) offered generous praise for the collection of literary profiles: "with its unintimidated questions and explorations," the book, she wrote, "is provocative and bracing, a wizard's mix of innocence and fire." Much the same can be said of these articles, reviews, bits of memoir, and commentaries, many published in the New York Review of Books and the New York Times. The collection opens with a review of Nora Ephron's Heartburn, which Moore wrote for Cornell's literary magazine in 1983, and ends with an essay about blues guitarist Stephen Stills, whose concert Moore attended in "late-middle-aged ecstasy" in 2017. An astute, sympathetic reader, she appreciates the "friendly irony" of Bobbie Ann Mason's stories; Don DeLillo's "ability to let America, the bad dream of it, speak through his pen"; and Joyce Carol Oates' "richly witty and despairing" Broke Heart Blues. Moore defends the controversial choice of Joan Silber's Ideas of Heaven, a novel as linked stories, as a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award: Silber writes like "a graceful swimmer on a leisurely swim, though her brisk, radiant prose chops the water like a sprite." Although most pieces focus on books, Moore rings in on a few TV shows, including The Wire, which she found riveting for its "admirable and unblinking look at a cursed people--America's largely black and brown urban underclass"; and the "legitimately brilliant drama" of the NBC series Friday Night Lights. On politics, Moore can be unsparing in her disdain: in 1998, during the Starr investigation of the Lewinsky scandal, she wondered at the public's apparently sudden shock and anger about a man who always seemed to her "a charming shark, a user, a yuppie, a bad actor, and a sexy, lying fool." She skewers Trump as "part Crazy Eddie, part Henry VIII, part AWOL Andrew Jackson...in it for the adventure and applause."Deft, graceful essays from a sharply incisive writer.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from February 15, 2018
        This collection of essays, reviews, and musings from 1983 to 2017 provides fascinating insights into one of America's finest short story writers and her ever-evolving understanding of her craft. These essays define Moore (Bark, 2014) as a critic of great candor and fairness, and a great champion of female writers, lauding Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Dawn Powell, and Clarice Lispector. Her views on writers such as Phillip Roth, Eudora Welty, and John Updike are also deeply insightful and sympathetic. Throughout, her experience as a creative-writing instructor shines through; her incisive readings are a must for budding authors. Rarely looking inward, this collection charts trends in American art, culture, and politics over the last few decades (especially striking are her views on Wisconsin politics and her long-held distaste for Hillary Clinton), and the most recent pieces trace the rise of cable television series, including The Wire, Homeland, and True Detective. Though weighty and unusual, this rewarding collection from a wonder of American letters provides a rich reading list, while Moore, cogent, distinctive, and entertaining, reiterates what great art can do.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from February 1, 2018

        This collection of 66 previously published essays from 1983 to 2017 arranged in chronological order show the broad range of Moore's (Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, Vanderbilt Univ.; Bark: Stories) interests. Topics include television, movies, music, and literature. The title is based on instructions Moore received from a book review editor who asked her to submit a review: see what can be done, meaning write about something. Moore calls these reviews and essays "cultural responses to cultural responses." The volume includes a range of authors, from John Cheever to Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, and Richard Ford. There is a twist in a few reviews. "Stephen Stills" incorporates Moore's 2017 experience at a Stills concert into a review of a biography of the singer. "Ezra Edelman's O.J. Made in America" compares Moore's thoughts on the day of the Simpson verdict with the complicated construction of the man shown in the ESPN documentary. The political essays cover the presidency of George H.W. Bush in 1992 to "Election 2016: A Postscript." Personal pieces such as "Christmas for Everyone," which sheds light on Moore's family life. VERDICT Writers and readers will be impressed with Moore's astuteness and reach. The collection is an impressive review of one writer's nonfiction compendium. [See Prepub Alert, 10/9/17.]--Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2017

        Famed especially for her short fiction--she's won the Rea Award for outstanding achievement in the genre--and the author of novels such as the Pen/Faulkner finalist A Gate at the Stairs, Moore offers her first-ever collection of prose pieces, published over the last three decades in places like the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and the Atlantic. She considers the art of fiction and its connection to life by reflecting on favorite authors (e.g., Alice Munro, Don DeLillo), addresses crucial issues like racial inequality and the environment, entertains us with diversions into celebrity marriage and television, and more.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A New York Times Critic's Top Pick of the Year
This essential, enlightening, truly delightful collection shows one of our greatest writers parsing the political, artistic, and media landscape of the past three decades. These sixty-six essays and reviews, culled from the pages of The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, among others, find Lorrie Moore turning her discerning eye on everything from Philip Roth to Margaret Atwood, from race in America to the shocking state of the GOP, from celebrity culture to the wilds of television, from Stephen Sondheim to Barack Obama. See What Can Be Done is a perfect blend of craft, brains, and a knowing, singular take on life, liberty, and the pursuit of (some kind of) happiness.
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