Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Mark Athitakis' The New Midwest

Mark Athitakis used to write a book blog that I read regularly. When I saw he had written this short introduction to contemporary literature of the Midwest, I thought that would be fun, and it was.

The New Midwest, A Guide to Contemporary Fiction of the Great Lakes, Great Plains, and Rust Belt (to give the full subtitle is practically the review in itself) is a topic-oriented overview of what's been written in Midwestern fiction up to its publication date of 2016. He discusses earlier things, going back as far as Sherwood Anderson, but the main emphasis is on books of the last ten to twenty years.

It is short (under a hundred pages) and doesn't go into great detail on individual authors. Perhaps the most extended analysis is given to Marilynne Robinson, a worthy subject. I read books recommended in his blog back in the day, most notably Ward Just's An Unfinished Season, and I'm sure I'll be reading some of the new books I saw in this. Leon Forrest, an African-American novelist from Chicago, has moved way up in my TBR (and TBFound) lists.

Definitely interesting, if it's the sort of thing that interests you.

And that's the last of the books--Broken April, Adam Bede, The Elegance of the Hedgehog and this, together with half of George Eliot's Romola--I read at the cabin last week. The things you can do with no Internet access.

1 comment:

  1. Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio was one of the classics that surprised me the most.
    I started it with a some skepticism....and eded up loveing it. Three cheers for the Midwest.