And so, three generations of yearning wanderers are trapped in an emotional limbo between the United States and Russia, weighed down byyet also dangerously ignorantof history. When Lenny says, “nothing here is straightforward,” Krasikov wants us to think not only about Russia, but also family life, over the decades.
In a now-famous 1997 smack down, David Foster Wallace took a generation of great American novelists—Updike, Mailer, Roth—to task.
It could be argued that Jennifer Egan, in 2010, took it upon herself to find a cure for what Zadie Smith once called our ailing literary culture.
Narrated by a young Irish immigrant named Liam, who arrives in Brooklyn from County Clare in 1915, Exile on Bridge Street chronicles the labor and ethnic strife that engulfed the borough’s immigrants and their children.
The poet Philip Larkin famously wrote: They fuck you up, your mum and dad / They may not mean to, but they do. Anna Kerrigan, the protagonist of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egans new novel, might well nod at Larkins sentiment, certainly as it relates to her father.