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Against Zombies (But Only Sometimes)
Don't get me wrong, I love zombies as much as the next person. I even like them when they're inserted into Jane Austen and eating brains hither and yon across the English heath. But sometimes, it's enjoyable to read a novel about living, breathing, car-washing, human-being-type people, such as the characters who populate The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides, reviewed in O magazine.
Last Sunday, to my pleasure, Eugenides, who was profiled in the New York Times, engaged in a conversation, not with a reporter but with the fiction writer Colm Toibin, during which he discussed his recent fascination with plain, old-fashioned characters (my translation: people made of words) "We know that we might be 'mocked' for persisting in writing realist fiction," he says. "But we keep on doing it! Because we think there is something about reality, and especially about human consciousness, that can be accurately described and that the novel is the best way to do it."
I couldn't agree more. There is something about human consciousness that comes so naturally (versus supernaturally) alive in a novel—and about human feeling, too, be it sadness, pain or delight.
What to read this fall
Our book pick of the week
Read the full article in the Times.
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