A WRITER'S WIT
My Book World
Queen: A Novel. New York: Farrar,
Not Cunningham’s best outing, although, as a fan, I don’t think he could write badly, ever. This novel just seems to echo motifs in other novels he’s written: two men, one woman in an odd sort of triangle, this time brothers, one straight, one gay, and the straight one’s wife, who is dying of cancer. Yet, I’ve noticed, as often happens with writers who work autobiographically, a writer might not be “finished” with a certain motif after using it once. In The Hours Cunningham also repeats the motif of a mother baking a child’s birthday cake; however, its usage seems more significant in The Hours. Cunningham’s writing always seems so facile, that is, he so easily appears to articulate exactly what he wants to say; it seems, however, that this time his verbiage is more powerful than his story.
“Nor is he [is] a pedant” (110).
“‘[It] Is that it? Does she do things because Liz would do them?” (176).
[Why are these flubs important? I’m not sure. Is the text copyedited by the same person who copyedits the print copy? If so, are these errors also present in the print copy? If not, why would there apparently be two different copy editors for different versions of the same text? And why in this day and age, after thirty years of computerized printing, should there be even one typo in a published book? Just asking.]
NEXT TIME: New Yorker Fiction 2017