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Great Male Narcissist

Christopher Tayler: Sigrid Nunez

1 August 2019
Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury 
by Sigrid Nunez.
Soft Skull, 172 pp., £12.50, August, 978 1 59376 582 8
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The Friend 
by Sigrid Nunez.
Virago, 213 pp., £8.99, February, 978 0 349 01281 0
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... about many matters, and prone to sulking when he feels deprived of physical affection. Unlike the female, she sometimes tells me, he wouldn’t cut it in the wild. Still, as the narrator of SigridNunez’s novel The Friend says, ‘people will tell you anything about their cats and dogs.’ The Friend has a dog, man’s best friend, on the cover. A Great Dane called Apollo plays an important part ...

Who would you have been?

Jessica Olin: No Kids!

26 August 2015
Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids 
edited by Meghan Daum.
Picador, 282 pp., £17.99, May 2015, 978 1 250 05293 3
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... Hodell revels in children’s ‘wild experiments with language … their inability to feign interest in things that do not truly grip them … their seriousness and total immersion in play’. SigridNunez would ‘rather spend an afternoon hanging out with someone’s kids than with many adults I know’. Danielle Henderson boasts, ‘I always engage children on their level,’ which, if true ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides

24 October 2019
Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... these speed-freak sessions, Sontag was not monastic and solo piloting, sequestered at her desk like Philip Roth with only a photograph of Kafka for company. Moser reiterates what memoirists such as SigridNunez (Sempre Susan), Phillip Lopate (Notes on Sontag), Edmund White (City Boy), Gary Indiana (Utopia’s Debris) and others recorded first-hand: that Sontag was incapable of spending much time alone ...

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