Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reading List: Union Atlantic

Union Atlantic
by Adam Haslett

Sometimes I truly believe that there are literary Nazis, who will only champion to the public books that are published expressly for the women's book club market. Women's book clubs, so far as I could tell from my experiences working in a bookstore, exist to read intellectually trite material (The Help is my favorite example, and that was easily the biggest "success" of the past few years), relegating truly challenging and rewarding material ever farther away from the notice and minds of readers who're being convinced that tiny electronic screens aren't a truly stupid and self-defeating method to combat intellectual rot. Oprah was perhaps the last great champion of real literature, but she began to spend most of her time with safe selections of acknowledged classics rather than stand true to her own convictions. All of this is to say that I wish a book like Union Atlantic weren't a book I basically had to discover for myself, a trend that has become more and more necessary just in the last decade. It used to be, not too long ago, that people actually gravitated to worthwhile material...

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