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A Few Good Voices in My Head: Occasional Pieces on Writing, Editing, and Reading My Contemporaries Hardcover – November 1, 1987


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (November 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060390751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060390754
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,355,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A senior editor at Harper & Row, Solotaroff is former editor-in-chief of the defunct New American Review (later the American Review), editor of Many Windows, a selection of stories from the American Review, and author of The Red Hot Vacuum, a collection of essays and book reviews. Here he offers a second book of essays and book reviews, all of which have appeared since 1969. His taste in reading tends toward Jewish and Eastern European writers, intellectuals who happen to write fiction, who look askance at society (whether it is valueless capitalist or drab socialist) and who fight for culture. Solotaroff writes perceptively, almost intimately, about Philip Roth, Stanislaw Lem, Vladimir Voinovich, Jacobo Timerman, George Konrad, Milan Kundera, among others. Several essays recall the period when he wrote fiction that was limited by his own grand, suffocating ideas about what made a good story. In publishing matters, he is a bit of a curmudgeon, railing against an industryparticularly its major housesthat "has largely sold out its cultural purpose to its commercial one." This is a lively, gracefully written collection that prods as much as it philosophizes.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This collection of reprinted pieces takes for its subjects Solotaroff's life, several specific texts, and the writer's profession. The pieces are leisurely, engaging, belletristic. While interesting, those on the "trade" say nothing not previously said while those on individual works engage such a diverse span of writers (e.g., Kundera, Roth, Kinnell, Sinyavsky) that the only unifying force is Solotaroff's authorship. And there's the rub. The only thing that would seem to lure a reader to this book is an interest in Solotaroff, former critic for American Review and present editor for Harper & Row. Libraries with clientele so interested should consider. Otherwise, marginal. Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
His idea of being a writer was formed in the years after World War II. Exemplary modern writers were men of learning. The criticism of Eliot was articulate and striking. Values of art persisted and Solotaroff wrote only seven stories in five years, endlessly polishing them. The literary atmosphere was thick with authority.
The pages of the PARTISAN RIVIEW were particularly seductive to him. Under the twin sign of alienation and integrity he courted failure. The group to which he was attracted, the PARTISAN REVIEW group, was now scattered among universities.
Literary careers are difficult to speculate about since they are so individual. Whether someone lasts has to do with durability. How does one deal with rejection, uncertainly, and disappointment. Raymond Carver has written that a good book is an honest one. Creativity is a mode of play. It is exploration.
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