Desecration & Reconciliation in Shirley Falls, Maine: Review of The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout --- Steven Axelrod | Numéro Cinq
So how does a writer working long after Virginia Woolf and Alain Robbe-Grillet, a writer of best-selling fiction in 2013, reconcile the demands of story-telling with this higher calling, this need to reveal that which stories, by their very nature, conceal? For Elizabeth Strout, it involves animating the machinery of her plot with moments of pure consciousness from the interior lives of her characters. It’s an uneasy compromise, and it certainly does not address the modernist need to “write against” and comment on the artificial constructions of the novel form. But it works. It lifts her book above the middle-brow pack, and lets the reader take away something surprising and ineffable, beyond the homely satisfactions of a tale well told.