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At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays by
Anne Fadiman

Some years back the woman who would become my second mother-in-law pressed a small volume into my hands at Christmas. “I haven’t read it, but she’s Clifton Fadiman’s daughter, so it must be fabulous. You do know Clifton Fadiman, don’t you? ”

Truth be told, I didn’t and probably escaped with some pithy, honest remark that side-stepped the matter entirely. But she was right, the book, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, was fabulous.

And so I discovered Anne Fadiman whose books  far too often end up as remainders.

As it turns out, I was already aware of Fadiman. I had merely, and uncharacteristically, failed to associate her name with the Continue reading