My private War by Christine Young
Viewed from our hyperpower perspective, the decades between the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 were so precarious they seem to belong almost to the history of another country. And in many ways they do. The ''United States'' at that time was to the east coast of North America what Chile now is to the west coast of the southern cone: a long and ribbonlike territory with indistinct or disputed frontiers, caught between mountains and the ocean. Three large European empires British and Spanish exerted immense influence on the rest of the continent, and on the Atlantic and Caribbean approaches to it.
Actor as a Troubled Man by Christine Young
Roth's jangled and disrupted life, filled with the most noble artistic intentions -- including a sustaining belief in the redemptive possibilities of art as well as the most sordid personal impulses, belies the illusion of internal cohesiveness we prefer to set our sights by. Even during his long and agonized lifetime his bizarre trajectory as a one-book wonder who had wandered off to an unheated cabin in the Maine woods took on the aura of a cautionary tale. What unseen mutation of character led Roth to trade in his former existence as a literary comer for the persona of a Yankee hick the laconic, subsistence-level operator of a feather-plucking business called Roth's Waterfowl?
Christina's Guide by Christine Young
The memory that still burns bright is of an editor at a major publishing house addressing a packed auditorium of would-be authors, advising them to retool their unsold novels as mysteries. ''That's what I've been telling my romance authors to do,'' she said, ''because the mystery has a built-in structure. This solves your plot problems by giving you a simple formula to follow, but it still allows you to develop your heroine and get your romance into the story.'' I nearly crawled under my seat, dreading the invasion of crime fiction by all those undisciplined romantics.