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New Yorker Fiction Reviews: "The Late Novels of Gene Hackman" by Rivka Galchen

Today's story comes from the Dec. 9th issue. "The Late Novels of Gene Hackman," by Rivka Galchen, explores J's relationship with her aging stepmother Q as they travel to a writers' conference in Key West.

Essentially, through their experiences together, the people they meet, J comes to have a more complex view on her stepmother and on aging in general. Kind of the "Gee whiz, maybe old people aren't as doughty and guileless as I thought" kind of thing.

This story's really great if you like reading about aging stepmothers and about senior citizens standing around talking at cocktail parties. But if you're, gee, EVERYONE ELSE IN THE GALAXY then you might not want to operate heavy machinery after reading this one.

Total snooze fest.

Oh, and I'm sure the more erudite among you will sound a hue and cry, saying "Wait, don't GET it! This story is referencing The Late Novels of Eudora WELTY (or whatever) and, and, and..." Save your breath for cooling your oatmeal. I'm way behind and there's stories coming each week. No time to dissect and cross-examine a story about senior citizens standing around at a writers' convention.


Brent Shearer said…
It's hard to say much abt this story as I haven't read it. Best not to be too dismissive because the author is a doctor and could save your life if you have some kind of a seizure at the podium when she comes to your reading. Cute, too.

Brent Shearer

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