Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why No One Reads Literature

I glanced at The New Yorker's notable books for 2009 and I remembered why no one reads literature. Check out these Best Fiction Books and their accompanying one-line descriptions, which could not be more boring if I were writing them with the aim of being boring.

The Immortalsby Amit Chaudhuri (Knopf; $25.95). Tradition and modernity in Bombay.

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasiby Geoff Dyer (Pantheon; $24). A diptych of cosmopolitan emptiness and spiritual seeking.

The Anthologistby Nicholson Baker (Simon & Schuster; $25). A crafty bagatelle on poetic themes.

Wantingby Richard Flanagan (Atlantic Monthly; $24). From Tasmania to the Arctic with Sir John Franklin.
Tinkersby Paul Harding (Bellevue Literary Press; $14.95). The death of a patriarch in nineteenth-century Maine.
The Vagrantsby Yiyun Li (Random House; $25). A novel of political upheaval in China.
Wolf Hallby Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt; $27). Tudor intrigue.
Her Fearful Symmetryby Audrey Niffenegger (Scribner; $ 26.99). A gothic yarn around a London cemetery.
Upgraded to Seriousby Heather McHugh (Copper Canyon; $22). Poems of compassion and verbal intricacy.
Love and Summerby William Trevor (Viking; $25.95). Irish provincial life in the nineteen-fifties.

To Barnes and Noble! Quickly, quickly--Before they sell out of the bagatelle on poetic themes!

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