GD Dess on Elisa Gabbert

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GD Dess reviews Elisa Gabbert’s essay collection The Word Pretty in the Los Angeles Review of Books, viewing the book with a jaundiced eye and using it as an occasion to consider the troubled aesthetics of the “lyrical essay”.

 

Lauren Elkin on Susan Sontag

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Lauren Elkin sings the praises of Susan Sontag, in a new essay at Aeon that characterises Sontag as an “art monster” of unflagging commitment to her intellectual craft.

 

Ed Simon on Samuel Madden

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At Berfrois, Ed Simon shines light on Samuel Madden’s Memoirs of the Twentieth Century, first published in 1733, and Madden’s legacy as a writer of Swiftian “novel prognostications”.

 

David Wallace on Raymond Roussel

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In the latest issue of the New Yorker, David Wallace looks at The Alley of Fireflies, a century-old novel by the French proto-Modernist Raymond Roussel, now available for the first time in an English translation by Mark Ford.

 

Katy Waldman on James Lasdun

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At the New Yorker, Katy Waldman sees traces of autofiction in James Lasdun’s new novel, Afternoon of a Faun, which presents itself as social realism blended with elements of a thriller.

 

Becky Varley-Winter on Jean Frémon and Annie Ernaux

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Earlier this week at the Glasgow Review of Books, Becky Varley-Winter read Jean Frémon’s Now, Now, Louison (trans. Cole Swenson) and Annie Ernaux’s The Years (trans. Alison L. Strayer) side-by-side, as books composed of “layers of stories”.