Alleged return of suburban literature

According to Charles McGrath, the suburban novel is back. He compares a few recent novels to the work of Cheever and Updike, and props up his argument by throwing a nod to A. M. Homes. Homes began writing about middle-class life in the suburbs well before the appearance of the novels cited by McGrath as part of the suburban-lit trend.

Homes’ work is hit-or-miss for me. Of the stories in The Safety of Objects, for instance, I wasn’t especially moved by “A Real Doll,” but “Adults Alone,” about a bored couple who smoke crack while their children are away, is one of the most masterful indictments of suburbia I’ve ever read.


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