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Articles by Ingrid Norton

A Year with Short Novels: Elizabeth Smart; Queen of Sheba

September 1st, 2013

A wild fever-dream of a book, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept careers between thrilling emotion and absurd histrionics.

A Year with Short Novels: The Nihilism of Nathanael West

January 1st, 2011

His short novels are the ‘ugly stepchildren’ of 20th century fiction, and yet his admirers are legion; A Year with Short Novels takes a look at Nathanael West and his two best-known works.

Of Form, E-Readers, and Thwarted Genius: End of a Year with Short Novels

January 1st, 2011

In our Internet-fueled new century, can the in-between genre of the short novel survive? Or have novellas – with their speed and feral intensity – finally come into their own? Our Year with Short Novels concludes.

A Year with Short Novels: True Grit & Greatness

December 1st, 2010

Charles Portis’s “True Grit” features a young girl who’s all business and a grizzled gunslinger who’s all heart — but there’s far more complexity and humor to the story than the Hollywood pairing implies. Ingrid Norton looks at a great American novella.

A Year with Short Novels: Of Dogs & Men

November 1st, 2010

J. R. Ackerley’s complex and marvelous novella “We Think the World of You”–in which two lonely, repressed people contend for the affections of a glorious dog–is the next work featured in “A Year with Short Novels.”

A Year with Short Novels: Love, the Limits of Narrative, & The Pilgrim Hawk

September 1st, 2010

The twisty boundaries of narrative reliability are at the heart of Ingrid Norton’s discussion the neglected classic “The Pilgrim Hawk” as “A Year with Short Novels” continues.

A Year with Short Novels: Diving into Atwood’s Surfacing

August 1st, 2010

This installment of the Year with Short Novels immerses itself in Margaret Atwood’s haunting second novel, Surfacing.

A Year with Short Novels: Breakfast at Sally Bowles’

July 1st, 2010

Readers have adored Truman Capote’s iconic Holly Golightly; they might be amazed, then, by how much Capote borrowed from Christopher Isherwood’s Sally Bowles

A Year with Short Novels: The Rooms of the Past

June 1st, 2010

Ingrid Norton’s Year with Short Novels continues in this installment about William Maxwell’s problematically nostalgic novella So Long, See You Tomorrow

A Year with Short Novels: Awash with Conrad

May 1st, 2010

It was only a matter of time before our Year with Short Novels got around to the most famous one of them all and traveled deep into The Heart of Darkness.

A Year with Short Novels: On Lifting Veils

April 1st, 2010

The Lifted Veil, George Eliot’s dalliance with Gothic horror, turns out to be nearly as dense and cerebral as her masterpieces; though of course, in keeping with the theme of this monthly feature, it’s far far shorter.

A Year with Short Novels: “There is a bridge….”

March 1st, 2010

The jewel-like perfection of Thornton Wilder’s “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” is the subject of Ingrid Norton’s scrutiny in this latest installment of “The Year of Short Novels”

The Sweetness of Short Novels

February 1st, 2010

Doorstop literary tomes might still be the preferred signature grab for literary respectability, but short novels have always been every bit as compelling–and tougher to do well. Ingrid Norton introduces her Year with Short Novels.

A Year with Short Novels: J.L. Carr’s Chance for Renewal

February 1st, 2010

In A Month in the Country, J.L. Carr explores that most challenging emotion to capture in fiction: happiness

Second Glance: “Today belongs to few and tomorrow to no one”

January 1st, 2010

As Ingrid Norton reports, the eerie and heartbroken poems of W.S. Merwin’s The Lice continue to resonate thirty years on: whispering, creeping, shaking.

Hurricanes, Murders, and Music

November 1st, 2009

Ned Sublette pens a loving portrait of New Orleans before Katrina struck. Ingrid Norton reviews The Year Before the Flood.

Thorns Too

October 1st, 2009

In A Vindication of Love, Christina Nehring has set herself the task of reclaiming romantic love for the Twitter Age. Ingrid Norton rates the results.

It’s a Mystery: With Caviar Comes Money

August 1st, 2009

Meet Artie Cohen, a Russian Jewish cop with a conscience. In Reggie Nadelson’s Londongrad, he’s got the weight of the world on one shoulder and New York crime on the other. Irma Heldman follows his travels in the latest “It’s a Mystery.”