On our rockstar Helen, by Jonathan Katz, an uncommon observation.

“… the writer Wilfred Sheed wrote once in the New Yorker that “every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.” Sheed wasn’t being nasty, he was being honest. I loved Macdonald’s talk and a I loved her book, but I died a little tonight.

“Even though I died a bit, looking at the crowd, reading those reviews, I also loved every second of it. Sheed is right,  I suppose, every writer winces a bit at a book as good as this one, but I loved being there much more than I didn’t. When a book and a writer  deserves every bit of the praise, it softens the blow.”

Also, as truthful if less painful:

“Macdonald talked about the need for animals in our lives, and  her worry that they are disappearing from the every day lives of people.”

Helen’s latest conquest is an excellent review by Caleb Crain in the New York Review of Books (no free link yet).

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