Nick Arvin Recommends

“Wright Morris published more than thirty books and won a National Book Award before he died in 1998, yet his work was never widely read and now seems–alas–in danger of slipping entirely from sight. The Works of Love was my introduction to Morris, and it remains my favorite among his novels,” Arvin says. “It is a strange novel, although strange in a manner that is not currently in fashion. Its protagonist, Will Brady, is a Midwesterner, gentle, quiet. He is lonely, but has little bitterness. The book has almost no plot–which usually I cannot bear in fiction, but in Morris’s beautiful, descriptive prose, as the novel drifts on the intense but curiously disengaged observations of Brady, it attains a unique power. Brady rarely knows quite what to make of the world around him or how to react to it, which has a tragic aspect, but it is also unexpectedly liberating, and it allows the novel to explore that extraordinary emotion–difficult to write about and often neglected in fiction–called wonder.”

Nick Arvin is the author of a collection of stories, In the Electric Eden, and a novel, Articles of War, which was published in February.

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