Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America

Faint Praise, published in 2007, remains the only book to provide an in-depth analysis of traditional book reviewing in America. Exploring issues from publicity to bias, contrasting traditional reviewing with new alternatives, and weighing the inherent difficulties of reviewing against unacceptable practices, the book helps readers and authors to understand the field, and reviewers to improve it. More
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About Gail Pool

As a longtime literary journalist, I have published essays, book columns, and reviews in many national publications—from "The New York Times" to the "Women's Review of Books" to the "Nation"—and I have published three critically acclaimed, and very different, books:

"Lost Among the Baining: Adventure, Marriage, and Other Fieldwork"—a cross-cultural travel memoir (and a love story) about a life-changing journey to Papua New Guinea that reviewers called "provocative," "inspiring," "compulsively readable," and "laugh-out-loud funny."

"Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America"—the first and still the only book to take an in-depth, historical, and tough look at this perennially troubled field. Critics called it "passionate," "thought-provoking," and "mandatory reading."

"Other People's Mail: An Anthology of Letter Stories"—an Editor's Choice selection at the "Chicago Tribune" that reviewers called "entertaining," "moving," and "wickedly absorbing."

For more information about these books, please take a look at my Authors Guild Website (www.gailpool.com), which also includes reviews of travel literature, a field I covered as a book columnist for the "Christian Science Monitor" and have continued to explore.

And please take a look at my latest work, "An Anorexic's Alphabet" (http://www.maprecord.com/FlipBooks), a graphic chapbook that takes readers inside the distorted, intellectualized, defensive, little-understood, and eerily intriguing mindset of the anorexic. (On You Tube at: https://youtu.be/ZmtYdbOtU-s)

I was born in New York City, I attended Hunter College High School, and I concentrated in Ancient Greek at Harvard. For many years, I taught writing at the Radcliffe Seminars and at Emmanuel College. I live with my husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Sanibel, Florida.

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