His entry begins:
Last night (I suppose Ironically), I finished reading Stewart O’Nan’s Last Night at the Lobster. It unfurls like a bolt of cloth—there are few, if any, seams in the novel, and it takes place in a single snowy afternoon and evening at a Red Lobster restaurant in New England. The characters are familiar not because they’re necessarily like people we meet, but because O’Nan infuses them with such credibility that you never question their actions or reactions in the novel. What he does, I think, is incredibly difficult—write a novel about a closing restaurant and mostly working class characters that includes no great crisis or event. And yet, by the final scenes, the subtle gestures of Manny and Jackie as they say goodbye are quietly moving, and the magnitude of Manny's many losses is...[read on]About All That's Left to Tell, from the publisher:
Every night, Marc Laurent, an American taken hostage in Pakistan, is bound and blindfolded. And every night, a woman he knows only as Josephine visits his cell. At first, her questions are mercenary: is there anyone back home who will pay the ransom? But when Marc can offer no name, she asks him a question about his daughter that is even more terrifying than his captivity. And so begins a strange yet increasingly comforting ritual, in which Josephine and Marc tell each other stories. As these stories build upon one another, a father and daughter start to find their way toward understanding each other again.Learn more about All That’s Left to Tell.
Writers Read: Daniel Lowe.