Read This: American Subversive and Anthropology of an American Girl


I’m doing my best to finish up with all the books for tomorrow night’s evening of all-American fiction, a Beatrice reading hosted by the Center for Fiction. I’m really getting into David Goodwillie‘s American Subversive, one of the best novels of its type (which I’m loosely interpreting as a blend of social satire and literary thriller) since Jennifer Egan’s Look at Me, and I’m eager to see how the interlocking stories of an online gossip reporter and a domestic terrorist will come together, although a short film posted to YouTube already gives me some hints.

I’ve also been enjoying Hilary Thayer Hamann‘s Anthropology of an American Girl, a novel that was first self-published in 2003 and, on the success of its initial sales, picked up by Spiegel & Grau to reach a wider audience. It’s a very vivid description of high school alienation in the late 1970s, with all the budding sophistication and accumulated callowness that implies.

You can hear Goodwillie and Thayer Hamann read—along with Pearl Abraham and Jane Mendelsohn—by joining us at the Center for Fiction (17 E 47th St.) at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night (June 22). It’s free, we’ll have books for sale afterward, and you can chat with the authors and maybe have a glass of wine. If you’re able to make it, be sure to say hello!

21 June 2010 | read this |