Christopher Beha

Christopher Beha is a deputy editor at Harper’s Magazine. His second novel, Arts & Entertainments, was published earlier this month by Ecco.

Occupation: Novelist: Peter Matthiessen

Christopher Beha, 31 July 2014

‘I was so angry​,’ Peter Matthiessen said late in his life of his early days as a writer. ‘I was constantly in a contest … with my father.’ He’d grown up rich in Connecticut and New York, attended Yale, but found himself in ‘combat with the world’ for reasons he couldn’t understand; his early novels reflect this. In Race Rock...

What the Organ-Grinder Said: Andrés Neuman

Christopher Beha, 5 April 2012

There’s a manner of presenting ideas in fiction that corresponds roughly to Yeats’s claim that man can embody truth but cannot know it. A story can embody thoughts it never spells out. So we take Kafka’s work to be saying all sorts of things – about God or his absence, about the general predicament of modernity – that it never actually says. It’s this kind...

Reconstruction: Jeffrey Eugenides

Christopher Beha, 6 October 2011

This is a strange book, but deceptively so: one of its strangest features is to appear to be aggressively conventional. In his short, spare first novel, The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides used an elegiac first-person-plural narrative to turn the deaths of five suburban sisters into a myth of postwar American decay. His Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Middlesex was much baggier, a...

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