Monday, November 25, 2019

Six notable works of satire

Dave Eggers's books include The Monk of Mokha; The Circle; Heroes of the Frontier; A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award; and What Is the What, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France’s Prix Médicis Etranger. He is the founder of McSweeney’s and the cofounder of 826 Valencia, a youth writing center that has inspired similar programs around the world, and of ScholarMatch, which connects donors with students to make college accessible. He is the winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and is the cofounder of Voice of Witness, a book series that illuminates human rights crises through oral history. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into forty-two languages.

Eggers's new book is The Captain and the Glory, an illustrated novel about an unfit, buffoonish leader.

At The Week magazine he recommended six works of satire, including:
The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (1913).

For me, The Custom of the Country is the sharpest and by far the funniest Wharton novel, and nothing less than a masterpiece of social satire. A young social climber, Undine Spragg, claws her way up through New York and Parisian society during the Belle Époque. Every new peak she reaches soon becomes an insufferable plateau, and the climb begins again.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue