Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nicole Krauss's four favorite new books

Nicole Krauss's new novel is Great House.

She recently named her four favorite new books for The Daily Beast. One title on the list:
by Tom McCarthy

The novel as a form is surprisingly undefined: there’s almost nothing it necessarily need be or not be. This murkiness or flexibility offers tremendous freedom, and it sometimes surprises me that more novelists don’t seize it. Tom McCarthy, author of various literary manifestos, has some strong ideas about what the novel should strive for. I don’t happen to agree with them, but they’re uncommon ideas, and as such they stretch and torque his novels in unexpected ways. McCarthy doesn’t like the word “experimental” applied to his work, nor should he. To experiment is not to know in advance the outcome, and what great art hasn’t, on some level, reached into unknown territory? In a literary moment, at least in America, that feels surprisingly conservative, with much praise for a return to conventional forms after the “high jinks” of postmodernism, reading C was, for me, perhaps not exactly what its author meant for it to be: reassuring.
Read about the other books Krauss recommends.

--Marshal Zeringue