“She is a maestro.” – Jane Smiley on Rose Tremain

November 13, 2010 at 2:51 am (books)

One favorite writer’s praise of another, equally favored, surely represents one of the chief joys of the reading life. In this case I refer to Jane Smiley’s review of Rose Tremain’s latest novel, Trespass.

Jane Smiley

Smiley takes the time to praise The Road Home, a book I thoroughly enjoyed, before going on to extol the virtues of Trespass. Rose Tremain is a novelist that more American readers need to know about. Her literate, graceful prose and gift for creating fascinating, multidimensional characters are firmly in the tradition of the British novel writing.

I greatly look forward to reading Trespass, which was on this year’s Man Booker Prize long list. It sounds unlike this author’s other novels, but then Rose Tremain never writes the same book twice. Jane Smiley says of her: “She seems ready to try any form, any style, even any worldview….” Smiley also offers the following observation: “The sinister mood of ‘Trespass’ is considerably different from the social realist one of ”The Road Home,’ showing once again that Tremain is as ambitious as her better known male compatriots.” The “male compatriots” link will take you to a review of The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis. My guess is that Smiley also has in mind Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan. I’ve not read Amis, but I’m a big fan of both Barnes and McEwan. Nevertheless, Jane Smiley has a point: Rose Tremain is most assuredly in their league.

Rose Tremain

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