Saturday, February 05, 2005

Dear is I who is Charlotte Simmons

An essay from tomorrow's NYTBR on Tom Wolfe's new novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons. I thought long and hard about assigning this for the class I am teaching now, that inspired in part this blog, but, skinflint New Englander that I am deep down, decided against assigning a new hardback, and one that was over 600 pages long. The early reviews I read were not encouraging, and so the publisher's copy that arrived at my door, gratis, stayed on the table unopened. This essay, which picks up on the fact that the novel rides high on college best seller lists, explores some of the reasons for that, including a poignant hunch regarding the affinity of the author for the title character's plight.

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