St. Anna

By Louis Bayard

Published January 17, 2001 10:39PM (EST)

Read the story Kudos to Louis Bayard for his excellent review, "St. Anna," and his incisive critique of the cultural phenomenon the book represents. I have not read Quindlen's book, but I've grown familiar with the genre: It's the flip side of the moral exhortations imposed on us by Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh et al., and it's all the more insidious in its warm-and-fuzzy cloaking of intellectual vacuity and unearned authority. Bayard's analysis of the unexamined classism inherent in the authors' pursuit of happiness is dead-on.

-- Tess Hoffman

Just when I thought I was the only one who had noticed the wide, bare margins of glaring white (or, rather, Martha Stewart Porcelain Bisque), the triple spaces between 14-point text and references to the "common" pleasures of sprawling gardens in gated communities, Louis Baynard did, too. Bravo for his observant and refreshingly critical piece on the latest empty book by an angel of Oprah's heavenly femme minions, St. Anna Quindlen!

It's nice to know that those of us who cannot gleefully bury $20,700 of student loan debt in champagne baths at getaway spas or forsake our delicate paycheck-to-paycheck balances for the latest Philosophy cosmetic kit do not suffer alone. Thank you, Bayard, for your perspective.

-- Stephany Filimon

By Salon Staff

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