Cornelia Otis Skinner (1901-1971), the actress, playwright, and humor writer, is my favorite writer after Tolstoy and Doris Lessing. I laughed so hard over her 1936 collection of humor pieces, Excuse It, Please!, that I spat out my tea. This is not unheard of: I guffaw uncontrollably over humor columns of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.
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I recently discovered the charming novel, House of Mist (1946), by the Chilean
writer Maria Luisa Bombal, which proved to be a gentle Cinderella story crossed with Wuthering Heights. I also complain about the family fight over a will.
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