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News From The World Review | Books | EW.com

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Paula Fox | LITERARY GRAB BAG News From the World

News from the World

Current Status:
In Season
Paula Fox
W.W. Norton

We gave it a B+

The pitilessly observant novelist and memoirist Paula Fox, now 87 years old and experiencing a late-life literary revival, offers an intriguing odds-and-ends portfolio of personal essays and fiction. Ideally News From the World will encourage readers to seek out the better stuff already published, including Fox’s great novel Desperate Characters, her anti-cute children’s books, and her unsentimental memoir of a terrible childhood, Borrowed Finery. Here Fox tells stories narrated in shorthand with typically striking authority. Describing her crush on the actor Franchot Tone, whom she first saw in Mutiny on the Bounty in 1935, she dismisses Clark Gable as ”a large man whose acting I found severely limited. I paid him no attention.” Fox is due more recognition, and if it helps reel in a new reader, there’s this: The daughter she gave up for adoption at 20 became Courtney Love’s mother. B+

See all of this week’s reviews