On Michael Cunningham, Leopold Bloom and Facebook

What could be better than a brand new, stand-alone book review–not free-for-all bloggery (though there’s nothing wrong with that!) but fully edited and curated, ready for the big time? Well, it’s here, the Los Angeles Review of Books.  So far, they’re publishing a new essay every weekday day at 6 a.m., and God forbid I let a couple of days, i HAVE to go back and see what I missed.  Amazing roster of contributors, From Jane Smiley to Rita Williams, people talking about their favorite overlooked books, everything goes if its interesting and well-written.

They gave me a choice of writing anything I wanted, and I picked Michael Cunningham’s new novel, By Nightfall, because it is beautiful and because stirred up so many thoughts on issues that have been troubling me a lot.

Check out the result: The Middle Years: A Meditation on By Nightfall, by Janet Fitch:

“Ah, Middle Age. Ye despised state. So sadly and yet accurately coupled with such terms as spread, crazy and despair….”

4 Responses to “On Michael Cunningham, Leopold Bloom and Facebook”

  1. Brilliant, Janet. Of course this book just moved to top of my “must read” list.

  2. Janet: What an astounding review of Michael Cunningham’s “By Nightfall.” Cunningham has been a favorite of mine since I began teaching one of his New Yorker short stories (“White Angel”) in my classes at UCLA. The story later became a chapter in one of his novels. I scooped up “By Nightfall” the minute it came out, but the irony is that in reading your brilliantly written review of the book (which I’d read a while back), it took me a moment to realize why the plot sounded so familiar! Of course, I’d read it months ago. This is an odd thing to admit, but I think I enjoyed your review more than the novel… Thanks for the heads up and the enjoyment.

  3. Oh, Janet, We reach for YOUR writing like an oxygen mask. Great review. Happy reading and I hope the writing is rocking.



  4. You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers
    such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

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