Sunday, August 12, 2007

Toobin, Mishra and those "modern" marriages you read so much about

I'm reading the Diana biography, but I'll tell you about that later.

"Exit Wounds, The Legacy of Indian Partition" by (NYRB writer) Pankaj Mishra. In Aug 13.

Jeffrey Toobin's "Reporter at Large, An Unsolved Killing" on gun control and a creepy case of the lack of it. In Aug 6. The Waleses (not those Waleses, the Waleses in Toobin's piece) have an interesting family history, which drew me right in. The political stuff was just as interesting, but less well-written.

Something about both of these seemed to promise more than the article delivered. Though I'd recommend them both. Actually, the worst thing about Mishra's book review is the title. Maybe he should have traded with Toobin, like in one of those office gift exchanges. Like, the editor hands you a title and then later you swap.

One of the frustrating things about Mishra's piece is that the books under review get in the way of a good essay.

FYI, the illustration for Toobin's essay is the kind of thing I hate. The photograph for Mishra's book review is what it is. Which is a very complicated historical thing. Check it out, if you haven't yet.

Mishra's critical history actually offers more dish on the Mountbattens than Tina Brown's The Diana Chronicles. Which is less forthcoming about their open marriage and bisexual pleasures. For shame, Tina Brown.

And about that title, "Exit Wounds" - I feel like I've objected to literal/metaphoric uses of this phrase in the title of another recent New Yorker (or other) article. But I can't find it now. Does this ring a bell?

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