Tag Archives: DeWitt, Helen

Novel Readings 2012

2012 seems to have been a particularly rich and rewarding reading year – also, a particularly maddening and occasionally stultifying one. I suppose what I’m saying is that it was a reading year like any other one! As always, some books stand out, though sometimes as much for the challenge and gratification I found in […]

Helen DeWitt, Lightning Rods

It wasn’t until I was nearly finished this outrageous and pitch-perfect satire that I realized it wasn’t really very funny. In fact (with apologies to Ford Madox Ford) I think I would even call it one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read. It’s sad partly because of the unforgiving picture it paints of contemporary […]

Helen DeWitt, The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai is the story of a single mother, Sybilla, and her son, whom she calls “Ludo”–though on his birth certificate it says either ‘David’ or ‘Stephen,’ ‘one or the other.’ It makes sense that Sybilla would consider it pointless to be certain, because one of the things this novel is about is precisely […]

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