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McInerney Reviews Kunkel

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Jay McInerney provides an interesting review of Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel in Sunday’s New York Times. In a quick wrap-up, McInerney describes the recent history of coming-of-age novels by writing, “In its modern form the American bildungsroman (the novel of formation) descends from The Catcher in the Rye‘ (1951). Reinvigorated by feminism in the 70’s, urbanized and coked-up in the 80’s, it was grunged-down and nonfictionalized in the memoir-mad 90’s (not necessarily a terrible development since most first novels are quasi memoirs anyway.)”

All in all, McInerney gives the novel some high praise, “If Kunkel had stopped his novel in midsentence some 20 or 30 pages earlier, he would merely have written the funniest and smartest coming-of-age novel in years. In fact, he seems to be trying to do something more ambitious…”

Read the entire review here.