J.O. Tate’s review of Mary Gordon’s “writings” (“Feminist Fatale,” September 1991) provided comic relief when sorely needed. I laughed out loud at his deft phrases, and giggles threaten to erupt when I recall it.

I’ve never actually “read” Mary Gordon; I tried to once, I really did. I bought a battered paperback copy of one of her novels at a surplus-book library sale for a dime, and yes, at that price it was a waste of money. On the premise of “Know Thy Enemy,” I settled down doggedly to read it—dog being the operative word—but after a few chapters, the little men in the Literary Control Room became upset and expressed their supreme dissatisfaction at such fare by walking off the job. After rather delicate negotiations, where I had to promise them Dickens, Chesterton, Wodehouse, and even a little Shakespeare just to induce them to consider going back to work, an agreement was finally reached, and I am happy to report they are once again in full production churning through Mr. Pickwick, Father Brown, Jeeves, and Falstaff. Both parties are relieved a prolonged strike was avoided, and I have been reminded in no uncertain terms of their slogan: “Life is short; bilge is long; hell, no, we won’t read it.”

Thank you, Mr. Tate, for showing me what I haven’t missed.

        —Windi Carnes
Lakemont, GA