Christian Lorentzen

Christian Lorentzen has a news­letter on Substack. He is also appearing in a play, Dimes Square, in New York.

How tf was I privileged? ‘Fuccboi’

Christian Lorentzen, 10 March 2022

The title​ is ironic. Whatever a ‘fuckboy’ is – my understanding is that it’s a slang term, about a decade old, for young American men in cities who conduct a caddish heterosexual sex life – the narrator of Sean Thor Conroe’s first novel, who shares the author’s name, doesn’t do much fucking. ‘Fucced Boy’ or ‘Fuccup’...

The Family Biden

Christian Lorentzen, 6 January 2022

Sofar Joe Biden has fulfilled the promise of his campaign. His administration has been mostly dull, and nothing has radically changed. Towards the end of the summer, after the US evacuation from Kabul, his approval rating dipped below 50 per cent and over the autumn it sank into the low 40s. In the media he’s widely seen as a lame duck, as columnists speculate about whether he will...

I was invisible: Viet Thanh Nguyen

Christian Lorentzen, 18 November 2021

The narrator​ of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s pair of novels, The Sympathiser (2015) and The Committed, is one of the more irresistible characters in recent American fiction. He smokes, he drinks, he sniffs powders. He’s a playboy who sometimes can’t get it up. He’s a lowlife, a drug dealer, a street fighter. He’s an intellectual with a graduate degree and he’s a...

I love grass: ‘Bewilderment’

Christian Lorentzen, 21 October 2021

Of all​ the novels responding to the Trump presidency, Richard Powers’s Bewilderment may come closest to pure propaganda. Set in a slightly worse and slightly more technologically advanced version of the present – popular adjustments in recent fiction – Bewilderment takes aim at the administration’s xenophobia and persecution of foreigners, its anti-science and...

I couldn’t live normally: What Sally did next

Christian Lorentzen, 23 September 2021

SallyRooney’s emergence in recent years as the avatar of literary success and its online scapegoat is not unrelated to the content of her novels. Normal People begins with its protagonists, Marianne and Connell, comparing their grades at secondary school and ends with Connell getting onto a graduate creative writing programme. In the first pages of Conversations with Friends, the...

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