Tessa Hadley's After the Funeral , David Lipsky's The Parrot and the Igloo , Nicole Flattery's Nothing Special , and Laura Cumming's Thunderclap all feature among the Best Reviewed Books of the Week. Brought to you by Book Marks , Lit Hub's “Rotten Tomatoes for books.” * Fiction 1. After the Funeral by Tessa Hadley (Knopf) 11 Rave • 4 Positive Read an interview with Tessa Hadley here “This new collection is a great introduction to her work and for those of us already familiar with Hadley, it's a great addition. Throughout the collection, Hadley spins out character studies of (mostly) women at odds with themselves, their partners, their families, or life in general … Hadley does a wonderful job of weaving past and present together as the sisters are forced to confront their memories and relationships. And, of course, there are those moments of shining prose … Rife with deft and often beautiful prose, and astute but compassionate characterization, this is a wonderful collection.” –Yvonne C. Garrett ( The Brooklyn Rail ) 2. Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery (Bloomsbury) 4 Rave • 9 Positive • 2 Mixed “Exquisitely disorienting … The book is driven by a kind of respiratory imagining, a panting projection that sustains both Mae and the story. She subjects her world and the people who populate it to a ravenous metamorphosing … Some might find the plot's relentless dissociation a decelerator, but I found it brave and effective: Flattery remains so loyal to the physics of her character's struggles, to the struggle of storytelling itself, that she is willing to risk allowing the less committed reader to wander off. The point of this novel is not illumination; it's almost an accident that we get to know Mae at all. Instead the novel captures, in gorgeous prose, the happy and unhappy coincidences that allow us to fall into knowing, those unexpected snags that trip us into ourselves … A revelation that is also distinctly anti-revelation, by a writer whose withholding is as vivid as her bestowing, who shows a story for what it is—something real, something […]
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