• print • Feb/Mar 2007

    Naming Youths

    André Aciman is our consummate Proustian. Even more than Roger Shattuck, who’s championed Proust in scholarly works, or Alain de Botton, who’s promoted Proustian self-help, Aciman has taken to heart the author’s injunction to use In Search of Lost Time as a personal darkroom—to dip the negatives of one’s own memories into the magic solution Proust provides. In his remarkable collection of essays, False Papers (2000), Aciman tells how his father first bought him Swann’s Way when he was fifteen (“I already knew I had just received, perhaps without my father’s knowing it, his dearest, most enduring

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  • print • Feb/Mar 2007

    The bloody era of sectarian violence between nationalists and Unionists known as the Troubles that marked Northern Ireland from 1969 until the late ’90s comes boldly to life in Louise Dean’s astonishing second novel, This Human Season. From her scrupulously fashioned prose emerges a sprawling saga, structured in alternating chapters, of two Belfast families—the Catholic Morans and the Protestant Dunns—torn from without by their warring loyalties and from within by their own demons during the two months leading up to Christmas 1979.

    The English-born Dean—her first novel, Becoming Strangers,

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