“In literature there’s a perversely refreshing counteroffensive of odiferous refuseniks, a burgeoning genre you could call Repulsive Realism,” writes Hillary Kelly for Vulture. “The pioneer and reigning queen of this trendlet is Ottessa Moshfegh.” Kelly goes on to look at other “Repulsive Realism” reads, such as the recent Halle Butler novel, The New Me, and Melissa Broder’s The Pisces, books in which bad sex and unwashed armpits run rampart and “the characters manufacture their own mire and swim around in it [and] rebel against the packaging of femininity and the oppression of the lacquered image.”
“Recently, a friend told me she didn’t like pictures of herself because she never looked the way she thought she did in her head. I think this pretty much describes the universal horror that is looking at your own photos, and that’s why I love the selfie so much. It gives you all the controls to the story you are telling.” In defense of the selfie.
In an interview with Jonathan Lethem, the NBCC’s Jane Ciabaratti offers, inter alia, a sympathetic reading of Chronic City; both have more affection than Kakutani did for what Lethem calls “the claptrap contraption plot I invented.” Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal, in a flash of inspiration, assigns the book to the estimable Alexander Theroux – the only non-Latin writer who can credibly use the word “prosopographical” in a review. (But, attn editor: “not a jot” twice? in subsequent paragraphs?) A marathon bi-borough reading of the entire novel continues tonight at McNally Jackson.
The big, blockbuster book this week is the final installment in the late Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Those just catching on to the Larsson phenomenon can also now get the complete set. Moving on to quirkier fare, there’s The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto, a reprint of a 1950s treatise on drinking with a new introduction by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). And finally, Library of America is putting out a volume of novels and stories by master of gothic fiction, Shirley Jackson.
Alex Stone reviews Guns N’ Roses founding member Duff McKagan’s memoir, It’s So Easy. It’s a book, Stone writes, that’s “intoxicating — in a pancreas-wrenching sort of way.” Bonus: McKagan’s Year in Reading for our site back in 2011.
Well, it turns out that Dutch bookselling site was right after all. In three weeks, Dave Eggers will release his latest novel, A Hologram For the King. The author gives some more information in an interview with The Rumpus‘ Stephen Elliott, but it seems pretty crazy how this isn’t being talked about more.