Sunday, February 11, 2007

An Alphabetical Life

Wendy Werris started working in the book business in the 1970s. Her career began at Pickwick Bookshop on Hollywood Boulevard and eventually led to her representing many publishers. In An Alphabetical Life, she relays her experiences in the book publishing industry, but also discusses her personal life and growth.

The memoir is often light-hearted, but there are also sad and harrowing episodes. Werris' parents' lives did not end well. This is told most tragically when she describes the death of her father who outlived his wife by many years while his health grew progressively worse. Another chapter is devoted to Werris being attacked by a rapist in her apartment. These accounts display an openness that will make many readers feel a connection with Werris.

I found the book especially appealing due to its location in the Los Angeles area and Werris' obvious love of books. Another entertaining element is the large number of unusual characters that operate within the book business. Werris describes them with affection and humour.


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