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What to Read (and Not)

These essays and reviews are mostly about literary fiction published in the last ten years and are written from the perspective of a fan of the McElroy/Coover/DeLillo axis or, more recently, the Powers/Vollmann/Wallace axis. The review-essays include pieces on all of the National Book Award fiction finalists of the last five years. Reviews selected here first appeared in Electronic Book Review, Barnes and Noble Review, New York Times Book Review, Atlantic, BookForum, The Nation, American Book Review, Daily Beast, and other national periodicals. Taken together, the essays and reviews comment on the state of literary culture–the fiction division–in America. Also included are several personal essays about the development of the author from a Vermont woodsman to a Brooklyn wordsman.

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