Corey, Melinda (Ann) 1957-
COREY, Melinda (Ann) 1957-
Born April 18, 1957, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of John (a high school teacher) and Dorothy Marie (a wire inspector and homemaker; maiden name, Malarik) Corey; married George Ochoa (a writer), August 22, 1987. Education: University of Chicago, B.A. (with honors), 1979, M.A., 1982; graduate study at Columbia University, 1991—. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, watching films, fashion.
Home and office—167 Nelson St., Brooklyn, NY 11231. Agent—Jane Jordan Browne, 410 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605.
Multimedia Product Development, Inc., Chicago, IL, assistant to the president, 1980-81; Macmillan Publishing, Inc., New York, NY, associate editor, 1983-86; Blue Cliff Editions, New York, NY, editor, 1986-88; Media Projects, Inc., New York, NY, senior editor, 1988-89; Corey & Ochoa, Brooklyn, NY, co-owner, 1988—. Literacy Volunteers of New York City Publishing Program, tutor/consultant, 1985-92; College Board, New York, NY, consultant, 1988-93; New York Public Library Centers for Reading and Writing, tutor, 1989-91.
Graduate fellow, Columbia University.
The Thanksgiving Book, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.
(With Mary Beth Jung and Jackie Ogburn) The Official Couch Potato Cookbook, Warner (New York, NY), 1988.
Let's Visit a Spaghetti Factory (juvenile), Troll (Mahwah, NJ), 1990.
Editor of Selected from It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It, by Robert Fulghum, and Selected from the Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, both 1999; contributor of articles and essays to periodicals, including Poets & Writers, New York Times Book Review, Home Office Computing, Baltimore Sun, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
WITH HUSBAND, GEORGE OCHOA
The Man in Lincoln's Nose: Funny, Profound, and Quotable Quotes of Screenwriters, Movie Stars, and Moguls, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990.
The Book of Answers: The New York Public Library Telephone Reference Service's Most Unusual and Entertaining Questions, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1990.
The Model Railroader's Catalogue: The Complete Sourcebook for Collectors, Model Builders, and Railfans, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1991.
Movies and TV: The New York Public Library Book of Answers, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.
A Cast of Thousands: A Compendium of Who Played in What Film, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1992.
Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
American History: The New York Public Library Book of Answers, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.
(Coeditor) The Film Encyclopedia, 2nd edition, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
The Dictionary of Film Quotations: 6,000 Provocative Movie Quotes from 1,000 Movies, Crown (New York, NY), 1995.
The Timeline Book of Science, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1995.
The Timeline Book of the Arts, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1995.
The Encyclopedia of the Victorian World: A Reader's Companion to the People, Places, Events, and Everyday Life of the Victorian Era, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1996.
The Wilson Chronology of Science and Technology, H. W. Wilson (New York, NY), 1997.
The Wilson Chronology of Ideas, H. W. Wilson (New York, NY), 1998.
The Wilson Chronology of the Arts, H. W. Wilson (New York, NY), 1998.
Fitzroy Dearborn Chronology of Ideas, Fitzroy Dearborn (Chicago, IL), 1998.
Facts about the Twentieth Century, H. W. Wilson (New York, NY), 2001.
American History on File, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2002.
The 100 Best Trends, 2005, Adams Media (Avon, MA), 2004.
Melinda Corey has written many references with her husband, George Ochoa. The Encyclopedia of the Victorian World: A Reader's Companion to the People, Places, Events, and Everyday Life of the Victorian Era is unique in its coverage of the period globally, although the emphasis is on Great Britain and America, including entries on the Civil War, Chicago Fire, Gold Rush, and writers Bret Hart and Jack London. Figures from the Continent include Paul Cezanne, Anton Chekhov, and Emile Zola. An RQ reviewer found the lack of indexing to be a flaw, but the cross-referencing to be a strength. "The work is a handy compilation of significant events and developments in the world of politics, art, literature, music, science, business, recreation, and everyday life," wrote the critic, who added that the "rich visuals… increase the reader's sense of the Victorian sensibility."
Facts about the Twentieth Century is a volume of four chapters, the first of which is "Chronology of the Century," wherein information for each year is divided among seven topic headings. Also included are lists of Nobel Prize winners and information about the Olympic games. The second chapter is an alphabetical listing of the "Events and Ideas of the Century." "Who: People A-Z" contains nearly a thousand short biographies, and "Nations of the World" contains brief histories of from two paragraphs to several pages about 190 countries. The volume includes tables, a gazetteer, and a bibliography. A Booklist contributor called it "a compact, browsable work with extensive coverage." School Library Journal 's Joanne K. Cecere wrote that "it's hard to imagine a more succinct and inclusive presentation."
In Clint Eastwood's introduction to The American Film Institute Desk Reference: The Complete Guide to Everything You Need to Know about the Movies, he writes that "it's amazing there has never been a source to turn to for all the basic information about the movies." The volume covers how films are made, acting, special effects, lists of important and award-winning films, profiles of actors and directors, and celebrity essays, among them entries by director Martin Scorsese and actress Angela Lansbury. The final section, "Sources," contains directories of studios, film schools, and other organizations within the industry, as well as related publications and Web sites. The information is complemented by more than 500 photographs and illustrations, along with sidebars and facts. A Booklist contributor called the reference "a feast for the eyes" and added that it "captures the magic and excitement of the movies."
Corey told CA: "I am a reference book writer and an essayist. Writing reference books is the way I manage to make my living by writing. It is also the way my collaborator and husband, George Ochoa, and I have built a fiefdom and a marriage. It is a fitting occupation for two would-be moguls who never abandoned the liberal arts belief that there is no end to knowledge. Though in recent years we have concentrated our efforts on film books, we have become relative experts in the fields of Victorian history, American history, literature, and, in our first effort, model trains.
"We work from a cramped one-bedroom co-op in Brooklyn that once had a living room, dining room, bedroom, and kitchen. Since we started to work together in 1988, we've lost the sofa, dining table, and antique phone stand and the rooms they inhabited. We've gained three computers, two printers, four file cabinets, a fax machine, and a six foot by four-and-a-half foot daytime work surface that was once solely a bed. We work from eleven a.m. to two a.m. every day of the week, with time off during the day to discuss city politics or whether Tom Hagen in The Godfather was or was not a wartime consigliere.
"The pull of writing reference books lies in part in the idealistic desire to spread knowledge, and in part in the required writing style. Because information must be presented simply, there can be no overuse of adjectives, adverbs, jargon, and lengthy clauses, which might serve to mask an incomplete understanding of what I am writing, or estrange readers. I like the demands of a simple writing style: I like its inclusiveness; I like its inherent democracy.
"I write personal essays for a different reason. Whether I am writing pieces about my aunt's funeral in a once-thriving town in western Pennsylvania, the organic profession of writing reference books, or my pursuit of birds on the streets of Brooklyn, I am faced with creating a new shape. The shape must be true to the subject and the emotions. The arc of the work must fall correctly; the words must fit the experience. Essays offer me a way to pursue beauty."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 1996, review of The Encyclopedia of the Victorian World: A Reader's Companion to the People, Places, Events, and Everyday Life of the Victorian Era, p. 282; March 15, 2003, review of The American Film Institute Desk Reference: The Complete Guide to Everything You Need to Know about the Movies, p. 1344; April 15, 2003, review of Facts about the Twentieth Century, p. 1435.
Publishers Weekly, August 5, 2002, review of The American Film Institute Desk Reference, p. 67.
RQ, winter, 1997, Rosemary A. Franklin, review of The Encyclopedia of the Victorian World, p. 293.
School Library Journal, August, 1996, Claudia Moore, review of The Encyclopedia of the Victorian World, p. 180; August, 2002, Joanne K. Cecere, review of Facts about the Twentieth Century, p. 142.*