The Marriage Plot By Jeffrey Eugenides (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 406 pp., $28) Women write about love and marriage; men write about everything else. Like all truisms, this one is best served with a heaping spoonful of caveats, but they don’t alter its essential flavor. Just “look at all the books,” as Jeffrey Eugenides’s new novel exhorts the reader in its very first line.
Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell Edited by Thomas Travisano with Saskia Hamilton (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 845 pp., $40) '"Your poem came to the right buyer," Robert Lowell wrote to Elizabeth Bishop during the spring of 1976 after receiving "One Art," the nineteen lines that Bishop called "the one & only villanelle of my life." Composed in a tightly repetitive form inherited from the troubadours of the late Renaissance, "One Art" may be the best known, most anthologized American poem of the past half-century.
You would think Susan Sheridan would be opposed to medical malpractice reform. After all, Sheridan has lived through two medical catastrophes. A decade ago, her newborn son, Cal, suffered kernicterus, a brain injury producing cerebral palsy and other neurological defects, caused by the failure to recognize and treat neonatal jaundice. A few years later, her husband, Pat, died from spinal cancer because of a miscommunication between the hospital pathology department, the operating surgeon, and the patient.