Speedboat by Renata Adler
(Nyrb Classics)

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I felt caught in the uncanny valley of an intellectualized love story, but with “Speedboat” Adler gracefully refuses the slide from sentiment to sentimentality.
-NY Times

Synopsis

When Speedboat burst on the scene in the late ’70s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It seemed to disregard the rules of the novel, but it wore its unconventionality with ease. Reading it was a pleasure of a new, unexpected kind. Above all, there was its voice, ambivalent, curious, wry, the voice of Jen Fain, a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of contemporary urban America. Party guests, taxi drivers, brownstone dwellers, professors, journalists, presidents, and debutantes fill these dispatches from the world as Jen finds it.
       
A touchstone over the years for writers as different as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Hardwick, Speedboat returns to enthrall a new generation of readers.
 

About Renata Adler

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Renata Adler was born in Milan and raised in Connecticut. She received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr, an M.A. from Harvard, a D.d'E.S. from the Sorbonne, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.D. (honorary) from Georgetown. Adler became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1962 and, except for a year as the chief film critic of The New York Times, remained at The New Yorker for the next four decades. Her books include A Year in the Dark (1969); Toward a Radical Middle (1970); Reckless Disregard: Westmoreland v. CBS et al., Sharon v. Time (1986); Canaries in the Mineshaft (2001); Gone: The Last Days of The New Yorker (1999); Irreparable Harm: The U.S. Supreme Court and The Decision That Made George W. Bush President (2004); and the novels Speedboat (1976; winner of the Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Novel) and Pitch Dark (1983). Muriel Spark (1918-2006) was a Scottish novelist and poet. Among the best known of her twenty-two novels are The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, Memento Mori, and Loitering with Intent. In 1993 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
 
Published March 19, 2013 by NYRB Classics. 193 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Speedboat
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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Jennifer Szalai on Mar 15 2013

I felt caught in the uncanny valley of an intellectualized love story, but with “Speedboat” Adler gracefully refuses the slide from sentiment to sentimentality.

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