Reading For My Life: Writings, 1958-200
John Leonard; Edited by Sue Leonard with an Introduction by E.L. Doctorow
On Sale: March 19, 2012
Essays / Literary Criticism
Praise for John Leonard
“For any partisan of intellectual journalism, Leonard is a small treasure.”—The Village Voice
“One of the two or three best literary critics in America. To virtually any book, Leonard can apply intellect and language without sacrificing either.”—Time
“Leonard has the requisite erudition and enthusiasm to sustain…astonishing riffs, putting the rest of the bookworm band not just in the shade but in total eclipse.”—The Boston Globe
ABOUT THE BOOK
A monumental collection of Leonard’s most significant writings, READING FOR MY LIFE spans five decades, from Leonard’s earliest reviews and columns for the Harvard Crimson to some of his final essays for The New York Review of Books. Leonard reviewed the most celebrated writers of modern fiction with unflagging inspiration and striking originality, in addition to heralding novelists from outside the mainstream. He was the first major critic to praise the work of Gabriel García Márquez, and championed the work of Toni Morrison so passionately that she invited him to travel with her to Stockholm to accept her Nobel Prize. Kurt Vonnegut likened the experience of reading him to watching him “light the night sky of my ignorance and intellectual lassitude with sizzles and bangs, and gorgeous blooms of fire.” He was a voracious critical omnivore, whose works also address television, film, politics, and the media.
ABOUT JOHN LEONARD
John Leonard (1939-2008) was a reviewer or contributing editor for practically every national print outlet, including The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, Vanity Fair, Salon, New York, and the daily book reviewer for The New York Times. He also appeared regularly on NPR’s Fresh Air and CBS’s Sunday Morning. Leonard wrote four novels and served for four years as the executive editor of The New York Times Book Review. In 2006 he was awarded the National Book Critics Circle’s prestigious Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.