So much contemporary fiction from American women writers to look forward to this year. Claire Messud's new novel The Woman Upstairs will be published next week in the UK. I spotted the new Elizabeth Strout The Burgess Boys in Waterstones last week and there will be novels from Curtis Sittenfeld (loved Prep) and Amy Tan. Best of all, Louise Erdrich's prize-winning novel The Round House has finally been published here. I'm reading it now and I'm woefully behind with ironing, gardening and general communication with my family because I just can't put it down!
Talking of fine American writers I've just re-read The Great Gatsby. My daughter, Kate, was going a little stir-crazy on study leave last week so we thought we'd go and see the new film. Some critics have thought it over the top but as Rachel of Book Snob points out the novel is not exactly subtle! Of course, seeing the film made me want to re-visit the novel with its fine opening sentence:
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. 'Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages you've had.'Nick Carraway has always been my favourite character in The Great Gatsby and I thought Tobey Maguire played him very well and looked remarkably like a young F Scott Fitzgerald. I'm also rather fond of Jordan Baker with her 'grey sun-strained eyes.'
What are your favourite American classics?