Michael Gorra

Michael Gorra teaches English at Smith College in Massachusetts. He is the author of After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie.

Show us the night: Michael Dibdin

Michael Gorra, 26 November 1998

‘There is nothing new to be said … but the old is better than any novelty. It would be a sad day indeed when there should be something new to say.’ Henry James’s fear that what the tourist has known and loved and already thought perfect in Venice might alter is a familiar sentiment: we all know this longing for things to remain as they were when we first knew them.‘

In ‘Indian Killer’, Sherman Alexie’s second novel, two members of the Anthropology Department at the University of Washington in Seattle exchange banalities in a parking lot:‘

Living in the Aftermath

Michael Gorra, 19 June 1997

Here, with the cloud of a six-figure advance trailing behind her, comes Arundhati Roy:

Henry James was foul about Far from the Madding Crowd. Thomas Hardy’s knobbly rusticities and merry peasants would not do.

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