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23 September 2005


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James Morrison

Dear Leila: At the risk of beinf redundant (as an Australian telling an American about the great F Scott Fitzgerald), I'd HIGHY recommend to you any decently-sized collection of his short stories. They're wonderful and underappreciated. Especially worth a look for sheer comedy value are 'The Pat Hobby Stories', 17 (I think) tales of a hack Hollywood screenwriter completely undone by the invention of talkies, and his desperate attempts to survive - one of which includes impersonating Orson Welles. Great stuff.


Never fear. It will happen. And I always appreciate recommendations.

It occurred to me recently that part of my problem (my classics problem) is that whenever I took American Lit (high school and college both), the focus was on earlier works. So I developed a love of Hawthorne and Poe and others, but we never hit Fitzgerald and Hemingway and the other gang. Strange. (Not that I'm blaming my schooling--I totally should have read some of these by now. I am waaaay too easily distracted by YA novels).

James Morrison

Going to try to do this one without typos - on the subject of YA novels, I just finished a big binge on John Marsden's 'Tomorrow, When the War Began' series - 7 books, with an 8th book billing itself as the first of a new series. He's an Australian writer, and I'm not sure how well known in the US, but these books are gripping and clever, and seem to be what Meg Rosoff's book was inspired by, as they're about a group of Australian teenagers struggling to survive when Australia is invaded by a (never named as such) Indonesia. The joy of reading these made me realise I should be paying more attention to the YA shelves on my frequent bookshop raids.


I've been meaning to read that series for a while. I'll have to make time for it.

Def. read more YA! There's fantastic stuff out there, and so many adults miss out!

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