Mandel’s writing contains countless lines that might get overlooked, and it is not because of fast prose. She wanders, politely, and pauses just as you would in the middle of your day when your mind darts to something pure or radiant.
We’re undeniably obscure in this culture. The overwhelming majority of “famous novelists” are only really famous within the literary world; my suspicion is that a poll of the general population would report that Snooki has a higher level of name-recognition than, say, Jennifer Egan. I think of my audience as anyone who likes their fiction both literary and plot-driven.
My father’s mother, Dot, pioneered the country I came from. Her name appears in all but the most sterile of regional histories. She taught school in one room school houses and traveled by sled to teach in homes. The canyon bracketing her farm is still named after her father.
Someone has to write about 9-11 NYC and their name doesn’t have to be McInerney. There is this weird light that is captured in a few novels, especially ones about NYC in the last ten years. I’m sure that’s a generalization. Certainly, it is not to be overlooked because it is actually being published.
The central character is a compass that points in many directions from it’s central locus. Or it’s like the beacon of a lighthouse that illuminates reality, including other characters, with its own distinctive coloring as it sweeps around the circumference of the social ocean.
I call petrified any form of book marketing that is doesn’t encourage the end user to give…