Byars, Betsy 1928–
Byars, Betsy 1928–
(Betsy Cromer Byars)
PERSONAL: Born August 7, 1928, in Charlotte, NC; daughter of George Guy and Nan (Rugheimer) Cromer; married Edward Ford Byars (an engineering professor and writer), June 24, 1950; children: Laurie, Betsy Ann, Nan, Guy. Education: Attended Furman University, 1946–48; Queens College, B.A., 1950. Hobbies and other interests: Flying (licensed pilot).
ADDRESSES: Home—401 Rudder Ridge, Seneca, SC 29678.
AWARDS, HONORS: America's Book of the Year selection, Child Study Association, 1968, for The Midnight Fox, 1969, for Trouble River, 1970, for The Summer of the Swans, 1972, for The House of Wings, 1973, for The Winged Colt of Casa Mia and The 18th Emergency, 1974, for After the Goat Man, 1975, for The Lace Snail, 1976, for The TV Kid, and 1980, for The Night Swimmers; Notable Book Award, American Library Association (ALA), 1969, for Trouble River, 1970, for The Summer of the Swans, 1972, for The House of Wings, 1977, for The Pinballs, and 1996, for My Brother Ant; Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, 1970, for The Midnight Fox; John Newbery Medal, ALA, 1971, for The Summer of the Swans; Best Books for Spring selection, School Library Journal, 1971, for Go and Hush the Baby; Library Journal Booklist, 1972, and National Book Award finalist, 1973, both for House of Wings; New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year, 1973, for The Winged Colt of Casa Mia and The 18th Emergency, 1979, for Good-bye Chicken Little, and 1982, for The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish; Dorothy Canfield Fisher Memorial Book Award, Vermont Congress of Parents and Teachers, 1975, for The 18th Emergency; Woodward Park School Annual Book Award, 1977; Children's Book Award, Child Study Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education, 1977; Hans Christian Andersen Honor List for Promoting Concern for the Disadvantaged and Handicapped, 1979; Georgia Children's Book Award, 1979; Charlie May Simon Book Award, Arkansas Elementary School Council, 1980 and 1987; Surrey School Book of the Year Award, School Librarians of Surrey, British Colombia, 1980; Mark Twain Award, Missouri Library Association, 1980, William Allen White Children's Book Award, Emporia State University, 1980, Young Readers Medal, California Reading Association, 1980, Nene Award runner-up, 1981 and 1983, and Golden Archer Award, Department of Library Science, University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh, 1982, all for The Pinballs; Best Book of the Year, School Library Journal, 1980, and National Book Award for Children's Fiction, 1981, both for The Night Swimmers; Children's Choice, International Reading Association, 1982, Tennessee Children's Choice Book Award, Tennessee Library Association, 1983, and Sequoyah Children's Book Award, 1984, all for The Cybil War; Parent's Choice Award for Literature, Parent's Choice Foundation, 1982, Best Children's Books, School Library Journal, 1982, CRABbery Award, Oxon Hill Branch of Prince George's County Library, 1983, and Mark Twain Award, 1985, all for The Animal, the Vegetable, and John D. Jones; Notable Book of the Year, New York Times, 1982, for The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish; Regina Medal, Catholic Library Association, 1987; Charlie May Simon Award, 1987, for The Computer Nut; South Carolina Children's Book Award, William Allen White Award, and Maryland Children's Book Award, all 1988, all for Cracker Jackson; Edgar Alan Poe Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1992, for Wanted … Mud Blossom; Texas Bluebonnet Award and Sunshine State Young Readers Award, both 1998, both for Tornado; Nevada Young Readers Award, 1998, for Tarot Says Beware.
Clementine, illustrated by Charles Wilton, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1962.
The Dancing Camel, illustrated by Harold Berson, Viking (New York, NY), 1965.
Rama, the Gypsy Cat, illustrated by Peggy Bacon, Viking (New York, NY), 1966.
(And illustrator) The Groober, Harper (New York, NY), 1967.
The Midnight Fox, illustrated by Ann Grifalconi, Viking (New York, NY), 1968.
Trouble River, illustrated by Rocco Negri, Viking (New York, NY), 1969.
The Summer of the Swans, illustrated by Ted CoConis, Viking (New York, NY), 1970, reprinted, Puffin Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Go and Hush the Baby, illustrated by Emily A. McCully, Viking (New York, NY), 1971.
The House of Wings, illustrated by Daniel Schwartz, Viking (New York, NY), 1972.
The 18th Emergency, illustrated by Robert Grossman, Viking (New York, NY), 1973.
The Winged Colt of Casa Mia, illustrated by Richard Cuffari, Viking (New York, NY), 1973.
After the Goat Man, illustrated by Ronald Himler, Viking (New York, NY), 1974.
(And illustrator) The Lace Snail, Viking (New York, NY), 1975.
The TV Kid, illustrated by Richard Cuffari, Viking (New York, NY), 1976.
The Pinballs, Harper (New York, NY), 1977.
The Cartoonist, illustrated by Richard Cuffari, Viking (New York, NY), 1978.
Good-bye Chicken Little, Harper (New York, NY), 1979.
The Night Swimmers, illustrated by Troy Howell, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1980.
The Cybil War, illustrated by Gail Owens, Viking (New York, NY), 1981.
The Animal, the Vegetable, and John D. Jones, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1982.
The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish, Harper (New York, NY), 1982.
The Glory Girl, Viking (New York, NY), 1983.
The Computer Nut, illustrated with computer graphics by son Guy Byars, Viking (New York, NY), 1984.
Cracker Jackson, Viking (New York, NY), 1985.
The Not-Just-Anybody Family, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1986.
The Golly Sisters Go West, illustrated by Sue Truesdale, Harper (New York, NY), 1986.
The Blossoms Meet the Vulture Lady, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1986.
The Blossoms and the Green Phantom, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1987.
A Blossom Promise, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1987.
Beans on the Roof, illustrated by Melodye Rosales, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1988.
The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown, illustrated by Cathy Bobak, Viking (New York, NY), 1988.
Bingo Brown and the Language of Love, illustrated by Cathy Bobak, Viking (New York, NY), 1988.
Hooray for the Golly Sisters, illustrated by Sue Truesdale, Harper (New York, NY), 1990.
Bingo Brown, Gypsy Lover, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.
The Seven Treasure Hunts, Harper (New York, NY), 1991.
Wanted … Mud Blossom, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1991.
Bingo Brown's Guide to Romance, Viking (New York, NY), 1992.
Coast to Coast, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1992.
McMummy, Viking (New York, NY), 1993.
The Golly Sisters Ride Again, illustrated by Sue Truesdale, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.
(Compiler) Growing up Stories, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1995.
Tarot Says Beware, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.
My Brother, Ant, illustrated by Marc Simont, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.
The Joy Boys, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Yearling First Choice Chapter Book (New York, NY), 1996.
Tornado, illustrated by Doron Ben-Ami, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
Dead Letter, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.
Ant Plays Bear, illustrated by Marc Simont, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.
Death's Door, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.
Disappearing Acts, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.
Me Tarzan, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers) My Dog, My Hero, illustrated by Loren Long, Holt (New York, NY), 2000.
Little Horse, illustrated by David McPhail, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2001.
The Keeper of the Doves, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.
(Compiler) Top Teen Stories, illustrated by Robert Geary, Kingfisher (Boston, MA), 2004.
Little Horse on His Own, illustrated by David McPhail, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers) The SOS File, illustrated by Arthur Howard, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2004.
King of Murder, Sleuth/Viking (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor of "Taking Humor Seriously," to The Zena Sutherland Lectures, Clarion (New York, NY), 1983–92. Contributor of articles to numerous magazines, including Saturday Evening Post, TV Guide, and Look. Byars's works have been translated into nine languages.
ADAPTATIONS: The following books have been adapted for ABC-TV and broadcast as episodes of the ABC Afterschool Special: The 18th Emergency, broadcast as "Psst! Hammerman's after You," 1973; The Summer of the Swans, broadcast as "Sara's Summer of the Swans," 1974; The Pinballs, 1977; and The Night Swimmers, broadcast as "Daddy, I'm Their Mamma Now," 1981. Trouble River, 1975, and The Winged Colt of Casa Mia (adapted as "The Winged Colt"), 1976, were broadcast as Saturday Morning Specials, ABC-TV; The Lace Snail was adapted as a filmstrip and cassette by Viking; The Midnight Fox, The Summer of the Swans, Go and Hush the Baby, and The TV Kid were adapted as record/audio cassette recordings by Miller-Brody; The Pinballs was adapted as a play, published in Around the World in 21 Plays: Theatre for Young Audiences, edited by Lowell Swortzell, Applause (New York, NY), 1997.
SIDELIGHTS: Over the course of her long and productive career, Betsy Byars has received extensive critical praise for her insightful portrayals of adolescents suffering from feelings of isolation and loneliness. "In a succession of psychologically-sound stories," wrote a New York Times Book Review critic, "she has developed her theme: that the extreme inward pain of adolescence lessens as a person reaches outward." Byars has produced books for children of several different ages, including chapter books for beginning readers and novels aimed at an early adolescent audience. Though her works are intended for children, Byars does not shy away from controversial subjects. Mental retardation, teenage sexuality, and physical abuse are among the volatile topics considered in Byars's work, and her skillful handling of the material has helped convince critics that such issues can be effectively portrayed in juvenile literature.
Raised in North Carolina, Byars entered college as a math major but soon found English more to her liking. After marrying and starting a family, she turned to writing. She got her start by penning magazine articles, but eventually devoted her talents to children's literature. Her first published book, Clementine, appeared in 1962, but the negative reviews it received caused Byars to turn away from the personal material she had included in the book. "I went back to writing books that anyone could have written," Byars related in an interview for Children's Literature in Education, "like Rama the Gypsy Cat—very impersonal." Though she continued to publish regularly throughout the 1960s, it was not until she wrote The Midnight Fox that Byars again returned to events from her own life as a source of her fiction.
The Summer of the Swans, Byars's next effort, was drawn from the author's work with mentally retarded children. The Summer of the Swans tells the story of Sara, an awkward adolescent who struggles both with doubts about herself, and with the mixed feelings she has for her mentally impaired brother, Charlie. When Charlie wanders away from the house and becomes lost in a forest, Sara understands how valuable her brother is to her. In the end, Sara locates Charlie, and in the process she gains a new and positive sense of herself.
In a Horn Book review of The Summer of the Swans, Ethel L. Haines stated: "Seldom are the pain of adolescence and the tragedy of mental retardation presented as sensitively and unpretentiously as in the story of Sara and Charlie." A Top of the News reviewer also lauded the book: "Betsy Byars, a sensitive writer with an ear and heart attuned to the subtleties of growing up, has created a story of extraordinary understanding and warmth." Barbara H. Baskin and Karen H. Harris, writing in Notes from a Different Drummer: A Guide to Juvenile Fiction Portraying the Handicapped, attributed the book's strengths, in part, to the way in which Byars handled the sentimental aspects of the story. "The descriptions of behavior are both tender and accurate," the authors wrote. "[Byars] can describe scenes revealing limitations in ways that reflect reality and avoid maudlin pity." Byars's ability to avoid an overly sentimental treatment of her subjects has been praised frequently by reviewers of her work. Another factor contributing to the author's critical success is her use of comedy. In Children and Books, Zena Sutherland, Dianne L. Monson, and May Hill Arbuthnot wrote that Byars's writing exhibits a "quiet, understated sense of humor that children quickly recognize and enjoy."
An example from a more recent Byars work, Cracker Jackson, also demonstrates how the author uses humor effectively. In the course of the book, eleven-year-old Jackson discovers that his former baby sitter, Alma, is being physically abused by her husband. When the abuse includes Alma's baby, Jackson and a friend take action. Their attempt to drive Alma to a shelter for battered women is related as a humorous adventure, and the comedy of Jackson's day-to-day mischief is also woven throughout the story. Horn Book reviewer Ethel R. Twichell noted that this combination of humor with a serious situation "would be an audacious undertaking in the hands of a less-skilled storyteller," but found Byars's effort to be an "expert blend of humor and compassion." New York Times Book Review contributor Mary Louise Cuneo registered a minor complaint about the characterization of Goat, Jackson's friend. "Goat regularly acts so much like a standard free spirit," Cuneo wrote, "that a reader could tire or disbelieve him." However, Cuneo also cited Byars's ability to "write low-key humor deftly."
Such criticism of Byars's characterization is rare. Her books have often been hailed for containing vivid characters that appeal to young readers. For instance, critic Jean Fritz wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Byars "has always had the capacity to create unique and believable characters." This ability is demonstrated in her series of novels featuring the Blossom family. Junior Blossom has a knack for unsuccessful inventions such as his subterranean hamster resort. Junior's sister, Maggie, wants to be a trick horseback rider like her mother and deceased father; and Vicki, the mother, occasionally leaves her children to rejoin the professional rodeo circuit. The family's acquaintances are also unusual, including Ralphie, a boy with an artificial leg, and Mad Mary, who lives in a cave and makes her dinner from the dead animals that she finds on the road.
In her review of A Blossom Promise, Los Angeles Times Book Review contributor Kristiana Gregory wrote that Byars's "perception of kids' feelings is keen." She also praised the author for creating a "cast so memorably quirky that you hate to say good-bye." However, Elizabeth-Ann Sachs's review of Wanted … Mud Blossom in the New York Times Book Review sounded a cautionary note regarding the bizarre characters. "The adults are atypical," Sachs wrote, "more flawed than it is comfortable to think about—indeed somewhat alarming in their eccentricity." Despite this reservation, Sachs found that "Ms. Byars's dialogue rings true. She captures the whining and the teasing and the playfulness of children."
The Blossom series also demonstrates Byars's attempt to create a detailed view of her protagonists by devoting several books to their adventures. She has applied this approach to other characters as well, including Bingo Brown. In the first installment of this series, The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown, the title character grapples with uncertainty by writing down his questions about various adolescent concerns. Many of Bingo's questions deal with the three girls he has fallen in love with simultaneously. There are also questions regarding Bingo's English teacher, Mr. Markham, who has begun to give the class strange lectures on suicide and the woman that he loves. When Mr. Markham is involved in a motorcycle crash, Bingo wonders if the teacher was attempting to take his own life.
Ellen Fader, reviewing the book in the School Library Journal, called The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown a "humorous and poignant novel," but also warned readers about the book's consideration of suicide. "Byars's light handling of a serious subject may disturb some adults," the critic wrote. Despite this reservation, Fader ultimately judged the book a success: "Accurate characterization developed through believable dialogue and fresh language, give this tremendous child appeal and read-aloud potential." A Publishers Weekly reviewer also praised the book: "Byars relays Bingo's questions and his answers in a way that is so believable that readers may wonder if there isn't a Bingo Brown in their classrooms."
In 1994 Byers published The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery, the first of a new series. The well-received series revolves around thirteen-year-old Herculeah, whose father is a police officer and whose mother is a private investigator. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called Herculeah a "distinctive and engaging heroine," and a Booklist reviewer lauded this "delightful middle-grade" mystery. Byers continued the series with Dead Letter, Death's Door, Tarot Says Beware, and Disappearing Acts. Many critics have offered positive assessments of this series, and Tarot Says Beware garnered the Nevada Young Readers Award in 1998.
Byars wrote of a young girl confronting life's biggest issues in her novel The Keeper of the Doves. Birth, death, the process of change and the mysteries of hu-man behavior are all on the mind of Amen McBee (also called Amie), the youngest girl growing up in the late 1800s in a well-to-do family with five daughters. Ever since Amen can remember, her older sisters have frightened her with stories about Mr. Tominski, a mysterious and reclusive Polish immigrant who lives in the chapel behind their house. Amen knows that Tominski once saved her father's life and she believes he is really harmless, but it is true that his behavior can be strange and frightening. When the family pet is killed, her sisters accuse Mr. Tominski, but as Caroline Ward reported in a School Library Journal review, "The surprising climax presents provocative questions about judging others and the nature of truth." Ward also praised Byars's skillful evocation of both major and minor characters. Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper noted that while the story elements are sometimes handled "abruptly," the book is a success due to "the mood Byars creates in short, short chapters in which every word is important." The Keeper of the Doves is presented in twenty-six chapters that are tied to the letters of the alphabet. The "echo of alpha and omega, source and ending," was effective, in the estimation of Joanna Rudge, a reviewer for Horn Book. She considered the book "Byars at her best—witty, appealing, thought-provoking." Byars's love of language is reflected in the character of Amen, who seeks to express her feelings about the events taking place through poetry. The family's life is depicted "in a prose that ripples with clarity and sweetness and an underlying evolution of spirit," stated a Kirkus Reviews writer. High praise for the author's skills also came from the Publishers Weekly reviewer, who stated: "Byars effortlessly links subtle images into a cycle of life…. The snippets of Amie's and her family's lives add up to an exquisitely complete picture."
Byars has collaborated with two of her daughters in writing the books My Dog, My Hero and The SOS File. The latter is a collection of narratives taken from the fictional Mr. Magro's class, for which students did writing assignments for extra credit. These short pieces cover a wide range of personalities and situations, from one child's account of being rescued from a dumpster as a newborn to another's dilemma of eating all the candy that was intended for a fundraising project. Booklist reviewer Shelle Rosenfeld predicted that the anecdotes in this volume would "inspire thought and discussion," and she praised the "lively" writing style. "Some tales are poignant, others are humorous; all are as credible as the characters sketched," affirmed Maria B. Salvadore in the School Library Journal. In addition to the quality of the stories, some reviewers noted that their short length and variety made this book "perfect for encouraging reluctant readers," in the words of a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
Over the course of her career, Byars has gained a great respect for her young readers. "Boys and girls are very sharp today," Byars told Rachel Fordyce in an interview for Twentieth-Century Children's Writers. "When I visit classrooms and talk with students I am always impressed to find how many of them are writing stories and how knowledgeable they are about writing." Her personal contact with children has also affected the way she shapes her stories. "Living with my own teenagers has taught me that not only must I not write down to my readers," Byars said, "I must write up to them."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Baskin, Barbara H., and Karen H. Harris, Notes from a Different Drummer: A Guide to Juvenile Fiction Portraying the Handicapped, Bowker (New York, NY), 1977.
Children's Literature Review, Volume 1, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1976.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 32, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1985.
Kirkpatrick, D.L., editor, Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1978.
Rees, David, Painted Desert, Green Shade: Essays on Contemporary Writers of Fiction for Children and Young Adults, Horn Book (Boston, MA), 1984.
Something about the Author Autobiography Series, Volume 1, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1986.
Sutherland, Zena, Dianne L. Monson, and May Hill Arbuthnot, editors, Children and Books, sixth edition, Scott Foresman (New York, NY), 1981.
Usrey, Malcolm, Betsy Byars, Twayne (New York, NY), 1995.
Book, September, 2000, Kathleen Odean, review of Me Tarzan, p. 86.
Booklist, April 1, 1994, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The Golly Sisters Ride Again, p. 1465; August, 1994, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery, p. 2042; July, 1995, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Tarot Says Beware, p. 1878; January 1, 1996, review of My Brother, Ant, p. 828; September 15, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of Tornado, p. 238; March 1, 1997, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Death's Door, p. 1162; September 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Ant Plays Bear, p. 116; March 1, 1998, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Disappearing Acts, p. 1134; March 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Me Tarzan, p. 1376; January 1, 2001, Ellen Mandel, review of My Dog, My Hero, p. 954; October 1, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of The Keeper of the Doves, p. 322; June 1, 2004, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of The SOS File, p. 1725; September 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of Little Horse on His Own, p. 120.
Children's Literature in Education, winter, 1982, interview with Betsy Byars.
Horn Book, February, 1971, Ethel L. Haines, review of The Summer of the Swans; May-June, 1985, Ethel R. Twichell, review of Cracker Johnson, p. 310; May-June, 1998, Elizabeth S. Watson, review of Disappearing Acts, p. 341; May, 2000, review of Me Tarzan, p. 309; September-October, 2002, Joanna Rudge, review of The Keeper of the Doves, p. 567.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2002, review of The Keeper of the Doves, p. 1028; May 1, 2004, review of The SOS File, p. 439; August 15, 2004, review of Little Horse on His Own, p. 803.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, January 31, 1988, Kristiana Gregory, review of A Blossom Promise, p. 7.
NEA Today, September, 2004, review of The SOS File, p. 59.
New York Times, December 5, 1980, George A. Woods, review of The Night Swimmers, p. 19; November 30, 1982, George A. Woods, review of The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish, p. 23.
New York Times Book Review, May 4, 1980, Jean Fritz, review of The Night Swimmers, p. 26; July 19, 1981, Patricia Lee Gauch, review of The Cybil War, p. 21; May 30, 1982, Michele Slung, review of The Animal, the Vegetable, and John D. Jones, p. 14; November 28, 1982, George A. Woods, review of The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish, p. 24; November 27, 1983, Marilyn Kaye, review of The Glory Girl, p. 34; August 4, 1985, Mary Louise Cuneo, review of Cracker Jackson, p. 21; December 15, 1991, Elizabeth-Ann Sachs, review of Wanted … Mud Blossom, p. 29.
Publishers Weekly, April 8, 1988, Kimberly Olson Fekih, review of The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown, p. 95; July 19, 1991, review of Wanted … Mud Blossom, p. 56; April 20, 1992, review of The Moon and I, p. 58; May 18, 1992, review of Bingo Brown's Guide to Romance, p. 71; October 12, 1992, review of Coast to Coast, p. 79; August 16, 1993, review of McMummy, p. 105; July 18, 1994, review of The Dark Stairs, p. 246; May 22, 2000, review of Me Tarzan, p. 93; August 19, 2002, review of The Keeper of the Doves, p. 90; May 17, 2004, review of The SOS File, p. 50.
School Library Journal, May, 1988, Ellen Fader, review of The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown, pp. 95-96; April, 1992, Phyllis Graves, review of The Moon and I, p. 112; January, 1998, review of Bingo Brown, Gypsy Lover; March, 1998, Linda L. Plevak, review of Disappearing Acts, p. 211; July, 2000, Janet Gillen, review of Me Tarzan, p. 68; January, 2001, Pat Leach, review of My Dog, My Hero, p. 92; October, 2002, Caroline Ward, review of The Keeper of the Doves, p. 158; June, 2004, Maria B. Salvadore, review of The SOS File, p. 103.
Top of the News, April, 1971, review of The Summer of the Swans.
Washington Post Book World, January 13, 1985, Carolyn Banks, review of The Computer Nut, p. 9.