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Renata Adler

Author of Speedboat

17+ Works 1,684 Members 34 Reviews 2 Favorited

Works by Renata Adler

Associated Works

Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker (2000) — Contributor — 356 copies
The Matter of Black Lives: Writing from The New Yorker (2021) — Contributor — 92 copies

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Reviews

What fun.Poking at people who need to be poked. But, What
about Renata Adler ? (see Pauline Kale?
 
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RODNEYP | 3 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |
Plot: none. Arch: some. Characters: none interesting. Anecdotes: some amusing. Ennui of the privileged: vraiment.

Less a story than an image of a time presented experimentally through usually short (3 line - one page) anecdotes. The reader learns little about any character; the goal of the novel instead is for the reader to gain an understanding of the fractured, uncertain but materially well-off world the characters inhabit. "Malaise" is a cliched term for the period of the late 1970s before Reagan appeared to sweep all that away, but it would apply here, in a more existential sense than an economic one.

Adler is sometimes hilariously biting about the strata of society she is writing about, in a slightly meaty passage:
The concept of the jig itself being up, however, had retreated into thrillers. Intelligent people, caught at anything, denied it. Faced with evidence of having denied it falsely, people said they had not done it and had not lied about it, and didn't remember it, but if they had done it or lied about it, they would have done it and misspoken themselves about it in an interest so much higher as to alter the nature of doing and lying altogether.
or in a one-liner:
At twenty-six, Kate, though not promiscuous, had slept with most of the decent men in public life.
In the end, despite the occasional amusements, I am unsatisfied. Fiction remains for me about telling stories and creating character, and I remain unconvinced by the plotless novel.
… (more)
 
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lelandleslie | 24 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
Brilliant experimental writing that's frequently funny and occasionally deep. I'm glad NYRB reissued this.
 
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monicaberger | 24 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |
Bookforum recently profiled Adler's fiction and I came across this book about her time at the New Yorker. The kindest way to describe this book is gossipy. I don't think I've ever read a more mean-spirited book. Adler's charmed life of extreme privilege combined with her talent and high intellect = scary self-certainty and a total lack of self-awareness.
 
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monicaberger | 3 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |

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Works
17
Also by
3
Members
1,684
Popularity
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Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
34
ISBNs
47
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7
Favorited
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