Monday, November 14, 2011

Five best literary ménages à trois

Anne Enright is a Booker Prize-winning Irish author. She has published essays, short stories, a non-fiction book and four novels. Before her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Enright had a low profile in Ireland and the United Kingdom, although her books were favorably reviewed and widely praised.

Her latest novel is The Forgotten Waltz.

One of her five best books with a love triangle, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
The Newton Letter
by John Banville (1982)

A middle-aged historian finds that he can not complete his book, distracted as he is by the two women in Fern House, the "big gloomy pile with ivy and peeling walls" on the estate where he is renting a cottage. He ends up sleeping with the wrong woman ("It is strange to be offered, without conditions, a body you don't really want"), having fallen in love with another "wrong" woman: her older, more reserved aunt. In John Banville's later work, he has managed desire's disconnect by focusing on his characters' sense of their own duality. (Banville recently split his own writerly persona in two, creating an alter ego, the thriller writer Benjamin Black). "The Newton Letter" shows the moment of fission; for a slim, allusive book, it contains a great and secret energy.
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see: a top ten list of literary ménages à trois.

--Marshal Zeringue