Skip to main content

Barnette, Martha 1957–

Barnette, Martha 1957–

PERSONAL: Born November 18, 1957, in Louisville, KY; daughter of Henlee Hulix (a professor of ethics) and Helen (an educator) Barnette. Education: Attended Stetson University and Vanderbilt University, 1975–76; Vassar College, A.B. (with honors), 1981; graduate study at University of Kentucky.

ADDRESSES: Home—309 Pleasantview Ave., Louisville, KY 40206. Agent—Gail Ross, Lichtman, Trister, Singer & Ross, 1666 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009; Russell Galen, Scovil, Chichak, Galen Literary Agency, Inc., 381 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Norton Psychiatric Clinic, Louisville, KY, psychiatric aide, 1977–78; Washington Post, Washington, DC, national news intern, 1981; National Public Radio, co-host with Richard Lederer, A Way With Words; Louisville Times, Louisville, feature and medical writer, 1981–85; freelance journalist. Courier-Journal, Louisville, worked as editorial writer. Hebrew Union College, volunteer digger at Tel Dan excavation in Israel, 1977.

MEMBER: International Jugglers Association, Phi Beta Kappa.

WRITINGS:

The Bill Schroeder Story: An Artificial Heart Patient's Historic Ordeal and the Amazing Family Effort that Supported Him, Morrow (New York, NY), 1987.

A Garden of Words, illustrated by Dorothy Leech, calligraphy by Gun Larson, Times Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies: A Lighthearted Look at How Foods Got Their Names, Times Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Dog Days and Dandelions: A Lively Guide to the Animal Meanings behind Everyday Words, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Special correspondent for Washington Post. Contributor to periodicals, including Reader's Digest, Glamour, Rosie, Women's Sports and Fitness, Bark, My Generation, Ladies' Home Journal, Child, and Newsday. Contributing editor, Self and Allure.

SIDELIGHTS: Martha Barnette once told CA: "I covered the Schroeders' ordeal from the beginning for the Washington Post, but I saw a much bigger story unfolding between the lines and falling between the cracks. It was clear to me that the story was a powerful metaphor for everything thrilling and terrifying about the future of medicine. I had access to Bill Schroeder during the long, lonely days of his final months, to the wrenching diary his wife kept through-out their ordeal, and to the stresses of the family and the medical team.

"I remain deeply ambivalent about much of what I observed while researching that book: the ethics of outrageously expensive high-tech experiments to battle disease aggravated by the patient's own bad health habits, the physical and emotional dangers threatening anyone wrapped up in long-term care of an ailing loved one, the public's ignorance of the trial-and-error aspect of much modern medicine, the physical complications suffered by an experimental subject who suffered a stroke devastating enough to have killed him if he'd had a human heart.

"What I found most gratifying is that, regardless of people's feelings about artificial hearts and human experimentation, those beliefs are inevitably shaken by my book. Whether people open the book believing that the ordeal was worth the extra borrowed time Bill had with his family, or feel instead that Bill was reduced to a guinea pig and a burden to his family for nearly two years, the reader nevertheless finishes the book far less sure of his or her original convictions. The book represents a detailed study that should be part of every discussion of the right to die, euthanasia, the cost of health care, and the will to live. Family members should confront such eventualities as death or debilitation honestly and openly—before those eventualities arise."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Antioch Review, fall, 1992, review of A Garden of Words, p. 780.

Booklist, April 1, 1992, Denise Perry Donavin, review of A Garden of Words, p. 1419; May 15, 1997, Barbara Jacobs, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies: A Lighthearted Look at How Foods Got Their Names, p. 1551; July, 1999, Brad Hooper, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies, p. 1909; February 15, 2003, Carol Haggas, review of Dog Days and Dandelions: A Lively Guide to the Animal Meanings behind Everyday Words, p. 1024.

Chicago Tribune, July 16, 1987.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 1997, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies, p. 426.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, May 4, 1997, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies, p. 7; December 14, 1997, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies, p. 6.

Louisville, August, 1987.

New Yorker, June 9, 1997, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies, p. 103.

New York Times Book Review, May 31, 1992, Linda Yang, review of A Garden of Words, p. 31.

People, July 14, 1997, Francine Prose, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies, p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, May 18, 1992, review of A Garden of Words, p. 67.

Washington Post, August 28, 1987.

Washington Post Book World, May 18, 1992, review of A Garden of Words, p. 31; January 10, 1999, review of Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies, p. 12.

ONLINE

Freelance Success: The Ultimate Resources for Established, Professional Nonfiction Writers, http://freelancesuccess.com/profiles/ (August 28, 2003).

Martha Barnette: Bump Up Your Brain, http://www.funwords.com/ (April 6, 2006).

Martha Barnette Home Page, http://www.mathabarnette.com (June 16, 2006).

Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/ (April 2, 1997), Christine Muhlke, review of Ladyfinders & Nun's Tummies.

World Wide Words Web site, http://www.quinion.com/ (March 22, 2003), Michael Quinion, review of Dog Days and Dandelions.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Barnette, Martha 1957–." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Barnette, Martha 1957–." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 16, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/barnette-martha-1957

"Barnette, Martha 1957–." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved November 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/barnette-martha-1957

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.