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Library General "The only novel of ideas written by an American woman..."
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"The only novel of ideas written by an American woman..."
I found a copy of an old infamous book at a street sale last week. There is something to say about the book, but first the jacket (1968 ed), which quoted the NYT: "...This is the only novel of ideas written by an American woman that I can recall."

Really? And forty years later...?
What a preposterous thing for a reviewer to say.  Was the book "Atlas Shrugged"?  If so, one might imagine that the reviewer actually meant a "novel of really bad ideas."
Surely it was a male reviewer. I do suspect that men regard 'ideas' some what more narrowly than most women.

Wonder why your post went unremarked?

In response to Tom Kimmel
Doubtless because it was too cryptic. :-) But yes, you're right, and I share your surprise...Still, I imagine at the time it was meant to be a sort of compliment.

I also don't know what the reviewer imagined a "novel of ideas" to be. Does it require characters to discuss their philosophy at length, with no sense of irony or self-consciousness? If so this really narrows the field.
Clearly the blurb writer had never read any Willa Cather.  
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Latest Post: July 19, 2011 at 7:27 PM
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