by Kate Christensen
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Kate Christensen has been quietly carving a niche for herself as a chronicler of eccentric characters on the periphery of New York’s cultural vortex. Last year’s pen/Faulkner award for her fourth novel, The Great Man, raised her profile. The book’s conceit—two biographers competing for the attention of the mistress, the wife, and the sister, all satellites to a randy and recently deceased figurative painter—was knowing, the tone fang sharp. The women were over the age of seventy but not without allure (the former mistress hopes the first biographer notices that “her hips and waist were still girlishly slender, her step youthful”).
Christensen has often addressed the American obsession with fading youth. “I had lately begun to notice the new crop of young girls on the sidewalks and in the bars, making me feel
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