Elinor Lipman, writer of comedies of manners in the fine tradition of Jane Austen and Laurie Colwin, is also at home slinging the political barbs at US politicians and their spouses she doesn't much care for. And each of those politicians happens to have an "R" after his or her name. Her newest book (book-let?) is called "Tweet Land of Liberty" and covers the presidential primary season, from Fall 2011 to late Spring 2012.
Elinor Lipman produces absolutely brilliant novels. (She doesn't writes sequels so I guess I'll never know what happened to any of my favorite characters.) Lipman's special talent - at least to me - is her writing of characters and dialog. Nothing much happens in the average Lipman novel, but her characters are so sharply brought to life that the secondary characters in a story are usually as interesting as the primary ones. By use of dialog, she defines both plot and characters, and doesn't need many words to do so. This ability to define by a sentence or two is evident in her political tweets. She can cut to the core and "slice and dice" a politician and his world. Often using the pol's own words, Lipman is a lot like Ogden Nash in her tweets; she goes in for the kill in the cleverest ways possible.
Now, as a political junkie myself and a long-time progressive Democrat, I enjoyed her book of tweets. Maybe if I was a Republican, uh, not so very much. (She notes in her forward that she hopes to win back the votes of her Republican literary fans. Good luck there, Elinor!) So, beware reader of this review. Buy and read this book if you're a Democrat. If you're a Republican, wait to read her newest novel, "The View from Penthouse B" when it's issued in Spring 2013. (And, hey, Elinor, if you're reading this, can you send me a readers of "View"? Pretty please...)