Whether writing about Brexit or defining the painful and ecstatic parameters of joy, Smith has a near preternatural understanding of the fictions we repeat to ourselves in order to function daily.
The author wrote what she knew, but also what she believed, what she feared, and what she was constantly trying to run away from.
When women can't speak up, a chorus of voices should rise to their aid, though that often seems like too much to hope for. John Irving understands this in a way most male writers don't or can't.
Or: a letter to my niece, who is five.
With The Buried Giant, the author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day has again conjured the unexpected. Here, an attempted primer for an indefinable writer.
Vollmann isn't post-modern so much as a 19th-century Romantic, roping himself to his desk. If you’re not in the mood it’s too rich; if you are, it’s a banquet.