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Top Ten

10 Best Books: Eileen Murphy

Top Ten 2000

The Year in News 1. We Have a Winner?Our annual listing of all that's most fit to print is usually an exercise in... | By Michael Anft

All the News Not Fit to Print The Year in Non-News

The Year in Film Science-fiction author Theodore Sturgeon once fashioned a maxim about the genre that came to be... | By Ian Grey

10 Best Films: Ian Grey 1Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, United States) Four very different souls go to Consumer... | By Ian Grey

10 Best Films: Heather Joslyn 1Chicken Run (Peter Lord and Nick Park, United Kingdom/United States)* A thrilling, inspirational... | By Heather Joslyn

10 Best Films: Luisa F. Ribiero 1Urbania (Jon Shear, United States) This kinetic, provocative tale of a catastrophic day in the... | By Luisa F. Ribeiro

The 10 Most Annoying Things About Music in 2000 . . . 1Lists As a dyed-in-the-wool, former-record-store-clerk music geek, I love a good list as much as... | By Lee Gardner

. . . and the 10 Best 1D'Angelo, Voodoo (Virgin) Sure, better songs would have been nice. | By Lee Gardner

10 Best Albums: Rjyan Kidwell 1Outkast, Stankonia (Arista/LaFace) Outkast knows precisely when to throw you a curve ball and when... | By Rjyan Kidwell

10 Best Albums: Daniel Piotrowski 1Modest Mouse, The Moon and Antarctica (Epic) Although it is by no means a departure for the... | By Daniel Piotrowski

10 Best Albums: Vincent Williams 1Jill Scott, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. | By Vincent Williams

10 Best Albums: John Lewis 1Otha Turner and the Afrossippi Allstars, From Senegal To Senatobia (Birdman) A trio of African... | By John Lewis


The Year in Books Like many wannabe serious writers, I've long felt the need to visit Paris. | By Eileen Murphy

10 Best Books: Michael Anft Plowing the Dark, by Richard Powers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Split between the heady digital… | By Michael Anft

10 Best Books: Mahinder Kingra 1Tulipomania, by Mike Dash (Crown) An elegant and entertaining work of popular history that... | By Mahinder Kingra

10 Best Books: Eileen Murphy 1The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday) Atwood hasn't abandoned her... | By Eileen Murphy

The Year in Theater FIVE SCRIBES, 10 SHOWS-- CITY PAPER THEATER CRITICS MICHAEL ANFT, ANNA DITKOFF, MIKE GIULIANO,... | By Michael Anft, Anna Ditkoff, Mike Giuliano, Brennen Jensen and Jack Purdy

The Year in Art 1Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930, Walters Art Museum There were... | By Mike Giuliano

10 Best Albums: John Lewis 1Otha Turner and the Afrossippi Allstars, From Senegal To Senatobia (Birdman) A trio of African drum... | By John Lewis

By Eileen Murphy | Posted 12/20/2000

The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday) Atwood hasn't abandoned her progressive politics, but for once they aren't the point of the story. In this novel, she interweaves three well-written, well-told tales to provide a thoughtful look at life in the early 20th century.

Place Last Seen, by Charlotte McGuinn Freeman (Picador) A first-time novelist blends the sustained suspense of a pop thriller with the elegance and vision of fine literature in this nuanced story of a family both grieved and relieved by the absence of a Down syndrome-afflicted daughter.

Eating Naked, by Stephen Dobyns (Henry Holt & Co.) Novelist/poet/essayist Dobyns tries his hand at the short-story form in this collection about small-town life. The plots are driven by the characters' lack of action, and Dobyns' success at this strange effort--which breaks a basic tenet of fiction writing--once again proves his talent.

In America, by Susan Sontag (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Sontag seduces her readers through the story of a Polish actress who immigrates to America, entourage in tow, to create a Utopian community in 1870s California. Readers intimidated by Sontag's reputation as an intellectual will find her a surprisingly gracious and accessible storyteller.

Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights, by David Margolick (Running Press) This slender volume explores the history of the anti-lynching song made famous by Billie Holiday and named "Best Song of the Century" by Time magazine. The complicated history of the song affords Margolick a new way to chronicle the thorny path of race relations in America.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown & Co.) This compulsively readable book was born as a brilliant New Yorker article, and against all odds, Gladwell maintains the same casual, conversational tone for nearly 300 pages. By examining phenomena as diverse as the renewed popularity of Hush Puppies and Baltimore's syphilis epidemic, Gladwell reduces trends to their most basic elements and demystifies seemingly inexplicable events.

Cherry, by Mary Karr (Viking Press) This memoir, a follow-up to the best-selling Liar's Club, has the power of a well-crafted novel. Karr recollects her wild teenage years with the wisdom of age, but without losing the confused immediacy of the moment.

The Last Lovely City, by Alice Adams (Washington Square Press) and After the War, by Alice Adams (Knopf) Adams died in 1999, but her last two books were published in 2000. The quality of the work--a collection of short stories and a novel--deliver Adams at her best, full of gentle humor. Her fiction is at once artful and wonderfully down-to-earth.

The Bridegroom: Stories, by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books) The author of last year's Waiting--winner of the National Book Award--Ha Jin returns with a collection of short stories exploring the range of reactions to an oppressive culture. The writing is exquisite, and each story is a carefully considered look at the long-term effects of being silenced.

Related stories

Top Ten archives

More Stories

The Year In Tracks (12/15/2009)
. . . just in the case the album really is dead.

The Year in News (12/9/2009)

The Year in Movies (12/9/2009)

More from Eileen Murphy

The View From the Hill (12/26/2001)
Resevoir Hill Residents in Their Own Write

Home Front (11/7/2001)
In The Struggle To Renew Reservoir Hill, Housing Is The Biggest Battleground

Growing Pains (10/10/2001)
A Reservoir Hill Childhood, Yesterday and Today

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