Ben Lerner, writer transcending conventional distinctions of genre and style in works that convey the texture of our contemporary moment and explore the relevance of art and the artist in modern culture.
The only antidote to this writing-group circle-jerk is criticism: maybe we can revitalize a moribund art form by slamming Franzen’s work for the shit it is. So I will say it again: Purity is a horrible abortion. Its characters are flat, the dialogue is trite, and plot is as predictable and hackneyed as the jokes. It is less a “great American novel” than a Guy’s American Kitchen Sink of novels.