Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In praise of

...the author Howard Norman, who writes novels about Atlantic Canada and therefore could (should) be a Mainer. I'm presently reading "What is Left the Daughter" for the second time.

I can think of no better way to describe his books than to quote what David Godine (publisher extraordinaire) said about one of his authors, the Maine poet Wesley McNair. He “embodies the laconic idiom of New England” and “What I like is the specificity of the poems. It seems like something that really happened to someone who really existed.” 

So, in Norman's novels, there is no:

  • preposterous plotting
  • authorial intrusions
  • incest, child abuse, or other fashionable sins
  • characters (strong/stupid/brave/tough/erudite) beyond belief
  • characters standing in for the author (also beyond belief)
  • terrorists
  • serial killers
  • university departments of English
  • gratuitous violence
  • ennui
  • gratuitous sex
  • ethnic angst in Brooklyn


No wonder Norman's no best-seller.

1 comment:

Aimee said...

Wesley McNair is my dad's cousin :-). I'm a really big fan.