WorldCat Identities

Lesser, Wendy

Works: 91 works in 221 publications in 2 languages and 8,952 library holdings
Genres: Fiction  Horror fiction  Biography  Horror tales  Criticism, interpretation, etc  Gothic fiction  Science fiction  Epistolary fiction  Biographies  History 
Roles: Author, Editor, Author of introduction, pre, Other
Classifications: PR5397, 823.7
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works about Wendy Lesser
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Most widely held works by Wendy Lesser
Music for silenced voices : Shostakovich and his fifteen quartets by Wendy Lesser( )

13 editions published between 2011 and 2014 in English and held by 1,396 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Most previous books about Dmitri Shostakovich have focused on either his symphonies and operas, or his relationship to the regime under which he lived, or both, since these large-scale works were the ones that attracted the interest and sometimes the condemnation of the Soviet authorities. Music for Silenced Voices looks at Shostakovich through the back door, as it were, of his fifteen quartets, the works which his widow characterized as a "diary, the story of his soul." The silences and the voices were of many kinds, including the political silencing of adventurous writers, artists, and musicians during the Stalin era; the lost voices of Shostakovich's operas (a form he abandoned just before turning to string quartets); and the death-silenced voices of his close friends, to whom he dedicated many of these chamber works. Wendy Lesser has constructed a fascinating narrative in which the fifteen quartets, considered one at a time in chronological order, lead the reader through the personal, political, and professional events that shaped Shostakovich's singular, emblematic twentieth-century life. Weaving together interviews with the composer's friends, family, and colleagues, as well as conversations with present-day musicians who have played the quartets, Lesser sheds new light on the man and the musician. One of the very few books about Shostakovich that is aimed at a general rather than an academic audience, Music for Silenced Voices is a pleasure to read; at the same time, it is rigorously faithful to the known facts in this notoriously complicated life. It will fill readers with the desire to hear the quartets, which are among the most compelling and emotionally powerful monuments of the past century's music.--Publisher description
His other half : men looking at women through art by Wendy Lesser( Book )

14 editions published between 1991 and 1992 in English and held by 932 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Wendy Lesser counters the reigning belief that male artists inevitably misrepresent women. She builds this case through inquiry into many unexpected and delightfully germane subjects - Marilyn Monroe's walk, for instance, or the dwarf manicurist Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield, or the shoulder blades of Degas's bathers. Placing such particulars within the framework of Plato's myth of the divided beings and psychoanalytic concepts of narcissism, Lesser sets before us an art that responds to and even attempts to overcome division
Pictures at an execution by Wendy Lesser( Book )

10 editions published between 1993 and 1995 in English and held by 792 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Lesser narrates the trial with a sharp eye for detail and an absorbing sense of character. Questions that arise in the courtroom conjure other, broader ones why are we drawn to murder, as an act and as a spectacle? Who in a murder story are we drawn to - victim, murderer, detective? Is such interest, even pleasure, morally suspect?
The genius of language : fifteen writers reflect on their mother tongues by Wendy Lesser( Book )

13 editions published between 2004 and 2013 in English and held by 696 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A collection of original essays reflects on their writers' formative experiences of language and culture, from Bharati Mukherjee's appreciation of the Bangla language after the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1946, to Amy Tan's frustration with comparisons betweenEnglish and Chinese
You say to brick : the life of Louis Kahn by Wendy Lesser( Book )

10 editions published between 2017 and 2018 in English and held by 660 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"A definitive biography of the iconic American architect, Louis Kahn"--
A director calls by Wendy Lesser( Book )

7 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 437 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This new experiment in theater criticism is simultaneously a study of one director - Stephen Daldry, director of An Inspector Calls - and a reflection on theater, art, and life. Wendy Lesser's book is an in-depth study of Daldry's work, based on Lesser's responses to many different productions in many different formats: scene rehearsals, dress rehearsals, previews, and performances, fragments as well as whole performances, discarded versions as well as final ones. The result is an entertaining and wide-ranging commentary on every aspect of theater, from staging, interpretation, and critical response to overheard snippets from actors and stage workers, ideas about music and sound effects, and the financial considerations of producing a play. Particularly compelling is Lesser's analysis of Daldry's gift for collaboration and her detailed description of the intimate relationships that exist between the director and his actors, musicians, technicians, and designers."--BOOK JACKET
The life below the ground : a study of the subterranean in literature and history by Wendy Lesser( Book )

6 editions published in 1987 in English and held by 402 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Hiding in plain sight : essays in criticism and autobiography( Book )

3 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 298 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Thom Gunn by Thom Gunn( Visual )

6 editions published between 1994 and 2016 in English and held by 235 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Thom Gunn's austere poems of love and death have distinguished him as a contemporary master. Born in England in 1929, Thom Gunn has lived in northern California since 1954. Thom Gunn read from his Collected poems, which gathers 40 years of poetry, and new work on October 18, 1994, in Los Angeles. He talked with Wendy Lesser, the founding editor of The threepenny review"--Container
The pagoda in the garden : a novel in three parts by Wendy Lesser( Book )

4 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 219 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Mark Morris's L'allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato : a celebration by Jeffrey Escoffier( Book )

5 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 213 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Table Talk : from the Threepenny Review( Book )

2 editions published in 2015 in English and held by 151 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Table Talk is a portable dinner party and a book to read alone while laughing out loud. Table Talk is a salon attended by your smartest friends and by all of the wittiest people they know. Table Talk is a collection of brief but critically acclaimed, half serious/half tongue-in-cheek pieces that borrow the format of The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" column. Selected from several decades (1990-2013) of The Threepenny Review, known colloquially as the West Coast's New York Review of Books, these anecdotal essays debate the historical, artistic, and technological developments of our time. It includes essays by Christopher Ricks, who unfolds a dazzling literary history of the phrase "Table Talk"; Leonard Michaels on why the waltz should be viewed as an aggressive, imperialist dance; and Claire Messud on the art of digression in fiction and conversation. Sigrid Nunez engages with the contemporary vogue for memoir and autobiography, while Luc Sante draws conclusions about postmodern art from a stray bit of graffiti glimpsed on a New York street. Other contributions include Alexander Nehamas on the NEA controversy that roiled the culture wars of the 1990s and Paula Fox's tips for interacting with difficult children. Ninety-nine pieces become a garden of literary delights, as Table Talk takes an irreverent walk on the wild side of philosophical and cultural speculation that will resonate with readers of any age."--
You say to brick : the life of Louis Kahn by Wendy Lesser( Recording )

4 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 31 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Born to a Jewish family in Estonia in 1901 and brought to America in 1906, the architect Louis Kahn grew up in poverty in Philadelphia; by the time of his death in 1974, he was widely recognized as one of the greatest architects of his era. Yet this enormous reputation was based on only a handful of masterpieces, all built during the last fifteen years of his life
Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley( Book )

7 editions published in 1992 in English and Undetermined and held by 24 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The urban tradition : transformations of London as reflected in Dickens, James, and Conrad by Wendy Lesser( )

7 editions published between 1982 and 1987 in English and Undetermined and held by 12 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The aim of this dissertation is to explore the parallel between the development of the modern English novel, as exemplified by three major writers, and the changes which occurred in the urban landscape of London during the period 1850 to 1900. By substituting Charles Dickens for George Eliot as the first major figure in the "Great Tradition" described by F.R. Leavis (the other two being, of course, Henry James and Joseph Conrad), this analysis seeks to alter the critical perspective on all three writers. Instead of being viewed as explorers of the psychological depths--as practitioners of Eliot's technique for penetrating the recesses of the human mind--James and Conrad are examined as masters of the superficial. Dickens' superficiality, in turn, is thus converted from a mere inability to create three-dimensional characters into an aesthetic and moral response to his surroundings. In this respect, all three writers are urban novelists: they understand the ways in which superficial appearances and external judgments ultimately determine the city-dweller's notion of character
Why I Read : the serious pleasure of books by Wendy Lesser( Book )

4 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 10 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

An exhilarating volume that will ratchet up the joy for all reading groups "Wendy Lesser's extraordinary alertness, intelligence, and curiosity have made her one of America's most significant cultural critics," writes Stephen Greenblatt. In Why I Read, Lesser draws on a lifetime of pleasure reading and decades of editing one of the most distinguished little magazines in the country, The Threepenny Review, to describe a life lived in and through literature. As Lesser writes in her foreword, "Reading can result in boredom or transcendence, rage or enthusiasm, depression or hilarity, empathy or contempt, depending on who you are and what the book is and how your life is shaping up at the moment you encounter it." Here the reader will discover a definition of literature that is as broad as it is broad-minded. In addition to novels and stories, Lesser explores plays, poems, and essays along with mysteries, science fiction, and memoirs. As she examines these works from such perspectives as "Character and Plot," "Novelty," "Grandeur and Intimacy," and "Authority," Why I Read sparks an overwhelming desire to put aside quotidian tasks in favor of reading. A book in the spirit of E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Elizabeth Hardwick's A View of My Own, Why I Read is iconoclastic, conversational, and full of insight. It will delight those who are already avid readers as well as neophytes in search of sheer literary fun"
Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley( Book )

4 editions published between 1992 and 2000 in English and held by 8 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Room for doubt by Wendy Lesser( )

3 editions published between 2008 and 2009 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Room for Doubt is about one writer's growing suspicion that there are more things in heaven and earth than were dreamt of in her previous philosophy. Through Wendy Lesser's account of her stay in a city that she never imagined she would see, a book she thought she wanted to write but never did, and a friendship that constantly broke down and endured, she offers us an unusual journey through the terrain of feeling and beliefs, and in the end shows us how, once examined, things are never quite what she thought they were." "Raised as an agnostic who acknowledged her Jewish heritage mainly because it seemed like caving in to Hitler not to do so, Lesser always assumed that she would never visit Germany. Yet once in Berlin, she is astonished to discover a place that is at once spur and antidote to many of her dissatisfactions and longings. Hoping, in Berlin, to write a book about the Scottish philosopher David Hume, she is not sure whether it is the writer or his ideas that she finds sympathetic, and eventually she comes to see that the only way to learn something from Hume is not to think about him as having something to teach. Instead of writing about Hume, she decides to write about her "difficult friendship" with Leonard Michaels. In doing so, she comes to see that their difficulties - fights and reconciliations, mutual obstinacy, and an intensely shared interest in the arts - were an essential and binding aspect of a friendship which, despite Michaels' recent death, remains an important part of her life."--Jacket
The amateur : an independent life of letters by Wendy Lesser( Book )

2 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Lesser describes both the events in her own life and those she has witnessed on stage, screen, canvas, and paper, noting how both experience and art teach us to observe, to discriminate, and to make sense of one another
Interview with John Updike, October 21, 1983( )

1 edition published in 1983 in English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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Audience Level
Audience Level
  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.32 (from 0.21 for Why I Read ... to 0.83 for For the da ...)

His other half : men looking at women through art
Alternative Names
Lesser, Wendy, 1952-

Rizzo, Wendy.

Rizzo Wendy 1952-....

Wendy Lesser American writer

Wendy Lesser Amerikaans romanschrijfster

Wendy Lesser escritora estadounidense

English (151)

Chinese (1)

His other half : men looking at women through artPictures at an executionThe genius of language : fifteen writers reflect on their mother tonguesA director callsHiding in plain sight : essays in criticism and autobiographyThe pagoda in the garden : a novel in three partsMark Morris's L'allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato : a celebrationFrankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus