Thursday, February 10, 2011

Notable Books of the Year 1993

This list has been selected from books reviewed since the Christmas Books issue of December 1992. The list suggests only high points in the main fields of reader interest, and it does not include titles chosen by the editors of the Book Review as the Best Books of 1993. Books are arranged alphabetically under subject headings. Art, Music & Popular Culture THE ART OF CELEBRATION: Twentieth-Century Painting, Literature, Sculpture, Photography, and Jazz. By Alfred Appel Jr. (Knopf, $35.) Modern times aren't all Eliot and Kafka, the author cheerfully argues; there's also Matisse, Astaire, Chaplin, Teddy Wilson and a whole raft of dedicated life affirmers.

ATGET'S SEVEN ALBUMS. By Molly Nesbit. (Yale University, $55.) A scholar finds political commitment and self-conscious intentions in the work of the Paris photographer who has been interpreted as a primitive.

BLACK AND BLUE: The Life and Lyrics of Andy Razaf. By Barry Singer. Foreword by Bobby Short. (Schirmer, $28.) An important, atmospheric biography of the lyricist who wrote "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Stompin' at the Savoy."

BOMBSHELL: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow. By David Stenn. (Doubleday, $22.50.) A scrupulous biography of the woman who could tangle with the best of them on screen but in real life was passive and unlucky.

CHAUTAUQUA SUMMER: Adventures of a Late-Twentieth-Century Vaudevillian. By Rebecca Chace. (Harcourt Brace, $21.95.) An amusing, intimate account of a season with the Flying Karamazov Brothers on their annual vaudeville circuit.

THE CITY IN SLANG: New York Life and Popular Speech. By Irving Lewis Allen. (Oxford University, $25.) A dense, reflective and occasionally nostalgic dissection of New York street talk, old and new.

CHRISTEN KOBKE. By Sanford Schwartz. (Timken, $35.) Mr. Schwartz's portrait, the first English book-length study of the Danish painter known for his small, quiet landscapes, is conversational, affectionate and discerning.

THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF ROBERT MOTHERWELL. Edited by Stephanie Terenzio. (Oxford University, $39.95.) Essays, observations and pronouncements by the most articulate member of the New York School of painters, illuminating the ambitions and the ethos of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

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