Summary and book reviews of Loud and Clear by Anna Quindlen

Loud and Clear

By Anna Quindlen

Loud and Clear
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2004,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2005,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

In this remarkable book, Anna Quindlen, one of America's favorite novelists and a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, once again gives us wisdom, opinions, insights, and reflections about current events and modern life. "Always insightful, rooted in everyday experience and common sense...Quindlen is so good that even when you disagree with what she says, you still love the way she says it," said People magazine about her number one New York Times bestseller Thinking Out Loud, and the same can be said about Loud and Clear.

With her trademark insight and her special ability to convey the impact public events have on ordinary lives, Quindlen here combines commentary on American society and the world at large with reflections on being a woman, a writer, and a mother. In these pieces, first written for Newsweek and The New York Times, Loud and Clear takes on topics ranging from social change to raising children, from the political and emotional aftermath of September 11 to personal values, from the impact on individuals of global events to the growth that can be gained by spending summer days staring into the middle distance. Grounding the public in the private, connecting people to each other and to the greater world, Quindlen encourages us to develop authentic lives, even as she serves as a catalyst for political and social change.

"Anna Quindlen's beat is life, and she's one hell of a terrific reporter," said Susan Isaacs, and Quindlen's unique qualities of understanding and discernment, everywhere evident in her previous bestsellers, including A Short Guide to a Happy Life and Living Out Loud, can be found on every page of this provocative and inspiring book.

Preface

ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, I was doing what I do as well as anyone I know: that is, not writing. This is an enduring part of my daily routine, something like the unbirthday party in Through the Looking-Glass. Unlike some of my colleagues—mainly the ones I don't really care for—I do not fly to my desk each morning with a full heart and a ready hand. I skirt the perimeters of my home office with a sense of dread, eyes averted from an empty computer screen. Instead of creation there is always procrastination: the call to my closest friend to chew over the morning paper and to gossip, which sometimes comes to the same thing; the power walk in Central Park and the interlude at Starbucks—my husband calls it Four-bucks—and the triple venti no-foam latte. Luckily the laundry room is five stories below my office, or I could surely eke out another half hour folding sheets and T-shirts. Several years ago my daughter downloaded a computer game called ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

You don't have to always agree with Quindlen to appreciate this series of essays culled from her regular Newsweek articles. Subjects covered include youth culture, gun control, over scheduled children, homeless children, personalities and politics, women's health issues, Barbie and, of course, the current political situation.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
Booklist - Donna Seaman

A valiant writer who addresses every aspect of our lives with both gravitas and humor, Quindlen is a tonic for mind and soul.

Publishers Weekly

Quindlen divides the essays by theme—heart, mind, soul, voice and body—and while the individual pieces shine, the overviews of each topic provide thin explanations for why they are grouped this way. Overall, however, this is not a matter of great concern. Quindlen's columns speak for themselves, loud and clear.

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Beyond the Book

Anna Quindlen is the author of four novels (Blessings, Black and Blue, One True Thing, and Object Lessons) and at least six nonfiction books including A Short Guide to a Happy Life. She has also written two children's books (The Tree That Came to Stay and Happily Ever After). Her New York Times column, "Public and Private" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Her column now appears every other week in Newsweek.

Some Quindlen quotes:
~ A finished person is a boring person.
~ A man who builds his own pedestal had better use strong cement.
~ The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being...

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