Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Yorker critic praises Queens' Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill
When the nation's most august critic praises a novel, book sales soar. In the March 31 issue of The New Yorker, James Wood takes on "Dept. of Speculation," a second novel by Jenny Offill, who teaches in Queens University of Charlotte's low-residency MFA program.
Wood says: "It's a novel that's wonderfully hard to encapsulate, because it faces in many directions at the same time, and glitters with different emotional colors. If it is a distressed account of a marriage in distress, it is also a poem in praise of the married state. If it brutally tears apart the boredom and frustrations of parenthood, it also solidly inhabits the joys and consolations of having a child."
He concludes: "Offill's brief book eschews obvious grandeur. It ... tracks the personal, domestic and local, a harrowed inner space. It concentrates its mass acutely, pressing down with exquisite and painful precision, like a pencil tip on the white of the nail."
Congratulations to Jenny Offill and to the Queens MFA program for snaring her.  


Anonymous said...

Rock on girl!

Karon Luddy said...

I read that nuanced, eloquent review in the New Yorker too. I was fortunate to have Jenny Offill as my professor in my first semester in the Queens MFA program. A thoughtful, passionate teacher as well as a writer.