Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eileen Weiner Book review: 'The Stranger's Child,' by Alan Hollinghurst. Alfred A. Knopf


Spanning the centuries with 'The Stranger's Child'
Book review: 'The Stranger's Child,' by Alan Hollinghurst. Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11296/1183871-148-0.stm?cmpid=newspanel0
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Over the past century the British fixation with the houses of the upper class has provided an almost too-familiar setting and literary device for narratives about class, English decline and, not infrequently, the undercurrent of homosexuality in the chronicle of English social, political and artistic life.


In "The Stranger's Child," Alan Hollinghurst's first novel since winning the 2004 Man Booker Prize for "The Line of Beauty," the author readily acknowledges the numerous English country-house novels that serve as touchstones for the first two of five sections of this intricate, century-spanning book.


The resulting literary pastiche is amusing, one allusion leading to another: the most overt nods are to "Brideshead Revisited," "Maurice" and "Howards End," with echoes of more modern examples of the genre, especially "Atonement" and "The Remains of the Day."


However, after a while all the nodding and winking begin to wear thin, especially as these long sections are written in period, Jamesian style, with an overabundance of smirks, sly glances and veiled remarks. I was glad that the third section leaped from 1926 to 1967, where the language lightens perceptibly while remaining drenched in irony....

Read more: 
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11296/1183871-148-0.stm?cmpid=newspanel0



Eileen Weiner Book review: 'The Stranger's Child,' by Alan Hollinghurst. Alfred A. Knopf
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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