Would I have heard of you?

Lauren Oyler

  • The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
    Chatto, 464 pp, £14.99, June 2018, ISBN 978 1 78474 236 2

In chronological order, starting with her debut, Sleepwalking, which she wrote as a student at Brown and published in 1982 when she was 23, the page counts of Meg Wolitzer’s novels are: 272, 294, 352, 213, 224, 219, 307, 383, 304, 560, 464. A couple of young adult novels, published in 2011 and 2014, hit 304 and 272 respectively. Does this matter? To Wolitzer, yes. ‘I sometimes wonder if book length, intentionally or inadvertently, signals to readers a novel’s supposed importance,’ she wrote in 2012, during the dip between the politely 304-page The Uncoupling and The Interestings, a 560-page saga about friendships formed at an idyllic arts summer camp for teenagers in New England.

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