Download e-book for iPad: American Writers, Supplement XIII by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

By Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

ISBN-10: 0684312336

ISBN-13: 9780684312330

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As the novel opens, Elizabeth grieves because her lover, Chris, has killed himself. Nate’s latest affair has ended, and now he is interested in Lesje, who works with Elizabeth. Lesje is an emotionally remote young woman more compelled by the dinosaurs she studies than by her live-in boyfriend, William. The story is told alternately from the points of view of Elizabeth, Nate, and Lesje in the third person. Nate and Lesje begin an affair. Elizabeth becomes jealous and arranges to meet with William about Nate and Lesje.

While a conventional narrative assumes that at least one of the characters will be likable and serve as the protagonist, reviewers and critics generally agree that each of the narrative foci in this book is distanced and unempathetic. Critics have also noted that the dated entries and present tense narration evoke the scientific observation that is Lesje’s vocation. Like a scientist, the reader must synthesize a story from data. In her article “The Canadian Mosaic” (in Essays on Canadian Writing, summer 1990), Carol Beran notes that there are some reasons for hope at the end.

If one can believe Grace’s narration, James McDermott’s lust for Grace forms another example of the danger of romance and desire. The novel combines Grace’s story to Dr. Jordan, Grace’s story to the reader, and Dr. Jordan’s narration with historical artifacts such as newspaper clippings and letters. Critics note that the various versions and intertexts of the novel enhance and subvert the detective story/ murder mystery of the novel. Since each chapter is named after a quilt and Grace is a skilled quilt maker, Magali Cornier Michael argues that the novel itself is a patchwork, forming a whole out of fragments even as Grace’s fragments of narration form a whole though not complete THE BLIND ASSASSIN SELECTED POEMS 1965–1975 Though most famous and revered for her novels, Margaret Atwood started her literary career as a poet.

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American Writers, Supplement XIII by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini


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