Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dogs in Books . . . A Winning Combination

What do an elderly couple with an aging dachshund, the selling of prime Manhattan real estate and a potential terrorist attack all have in common? You'd think nothing, until you read Heroic Measures, a new novel from author Jill Ciment. It's a short, well-plotted, quietly nuanced thriller where part of the story is even filtered through the point-of-view of an injured, elderly dachshund. The bonds between dogs and people are intricate and photographer, Jill Krementz (widow of author, Kurt Vonnegut) has captured the presence of these four-legged creatures in the lives of writers. Canine companions have a long history in literature, from Anton Chekov's short story, The Lady with the Dog, to contemporary memoirs such as Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas and Pack of Two by the late Caroline Knapp. So whether it's fiction or nonfiction . . . people love dogs and dogs sell books. It's a package deal. Woof! Woof!