Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Lorna Sage will write no more. Bits of Bad Blood had been read when they appeared in LRB or TLS, or wherever it was. I'm not quite done with the book, found in the Austin Public Library, but have been enjoying it just as much as I expected to. How disappointing it is to learn that she died in 2001. The mixture of observation and candor has made such a good book, with portions that beg to be read aloud. She was, in fact, named after Lorna Doone. This was one of REH's favorite books. I struggled through it when I was too young to be reading something so thick and florid, but there is a wonderful story buried in all that sludge. How would it seem now? The Lorna Doone cookie was introduced by the National Biscuit Company in 1912. I can remember when there was plenty of plaid on the box and when these were among the Nabisco cookies sold one by one from those containers on stands at the corner store, the sort that the owner would occasionally give away to kids accompanying the grown-ups. Lorna Doone cookies have long since gone bad; the nearest equivalent is the Pepperidge Farm shortbread cookie, but the PF is too thick and too large to equate.


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