The Lady is Good

When I tell you that this little delight is a book of memoirs, I don’t want to be misunderstood.  A sister of William F. Buckley, Jr., Miss Buckley, who was managing editor of National Review for 37 years (and who passed away recently at the age of 90), does not make “creative nonfiction” out of the quotidian, pretend to be contributing an invaluable perspective on her “times,” or labor under the delusion that she is making capital-L literature out of her life.

No.  She is telling stories, practicing the art of the raconteur—moreover, to mixed company, which is altogether fitting for her subjects.  Those are her sporting exploits, chiefly on the golf course and in armed pursuit of various game, as the book’s title suggests, but also in the saddle.  She proves so good at regaling us with her adventures that even this reviewer, who has never shouldered a gun, straddled a quadruped, or wielded a golf club, has been enthralled by her yarning.

The essential charm of the personal sporting tale lies in the teller’s talent for establishing and maintaining her essential command of the sport in question before proceeding to the grand moment of humiliation that is invariably the yarn’s payoff.  Miss Buckley performs this feat with admirable dispatch, opening the very first chapter at the Women’s Amateur Golf...

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