Ticknor In Review

MG pal Mark Sarvas reviews Sheila Heti’s Ticknor for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Biographer George Ticknor’s friendship with his great subject, historian W.H. Prescott, was the foundation of his 1864 Life of William Hickling Prescott, a popular and critical success. Pulling this obscure page from the archives, Heti has turned their friendship on its head, transforming it into a darkly funny anti-history, a hilariously biting study of envy, bitterness and promise unfulfilled. In her masterfully reimagined landscape, her Ticknor – quite unlike his real-life counterpart – is a thwarted second-rater, all talk and very little action, forever toiling in the shadow of his wildly successful childhood friend.

Read on.