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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Damning with faint praise 

If you don't read The New Yorker, you don't get to read "briefly noted" book reviews like this:
Milk, by Darcey Steinke (Bloomsbury; $17.95). Steinke's idiosyncratic, unsentimental fourth novel continues her examination of sexual and religious obsession. While caring for a small baby and waiting for an absent husband, Mary sees her kitchen ceiling produce showers of sparks. She encounters a lapsed monk named John who suggests that her sparks may be an "aleph, a point in space that contains all points." After sleeping with John, Mary abandons her husband and moves into the church where her friend Walter is the pastor. Walter is dogged by the memory of his dead lover, Carlos, even as he trawls New York for erotic excitement. All the characters struggle to establish a relationship with God through contact with those around them, but Steinke's prose repeatedly hints at the divine in tangible things. [February 28, 2005, p. 89]

Call me a Philistine, but you couldn't pay me to read that novel.

4 Comments:

By Blogger Sluggo, at Tue Feb 22, 11:55:00 PM:

Jack, this may be a painful subject, but don't you think the UI Writer's Workshop may bear some of the responsibility here?  

By Blogger Patton, at Wed Feb 23, 03:08:00 AM:

OK, since you insist: "You're a Philistine".

And, it turns out, so am I. I'd likely give up reading entirely rather than read this overwrought crap. I'm thinking Darcey Steinke's got issues galore.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Feb 23, 05:53:00 AM:

Sluggo: The Writer's Workshop bears responsibility for some of it, as well as some greatness. Kurt Vonnegut, John Cheever, and any number of others passed through there. Google reveals that Brown and the University of Virginia are responsible for Darcey Steinke.  

By Blogger bill naka, at Thu Oct 06, 08:35:00 AM:

Hi, I was just blog surfing and found you! If you are interested, go see my inspirational book related site. It pretty much covers inspirational book stuff. I guess you may find something of interest.  

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