The novelist considers Frank Bascombe’s role as a stand-in for the rest of us.
Over the last twenty years, goodwilled readers have occasionally asked me if Frank Bascombe, the yearning, sometimes vexatious, narrator of my three novels The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and Lay of the Land—if Frank Bascombe was intended to be an American “everyman.” By this I think these readers mean: Is Frank at least partly an emblem? Poised there in the final clattering quadrant of the last century, beset with dilemmas and joys, equipped with his suburban New Jersey skill set and ethical outlook—do Frank’s fears, dedications, devilings, and amusements stand somewhat for our own?
Naturally, I’m flattered to hear such a question, since it might mean the questioner has read at least one of these books and tried to make use of it. And I can certainly imagine that a millennial standard-bearer might be worth
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