Sunday, February 12, 2017
Strong story by Curtis Sittenfeld with a major,surprising twist
Good to see the New Yorker getting behind Curtis Sittenfeld, a writer who has proved herself as a popular novelist and with what appears to be her new collection of short stories is showing that she's a to-reckon-with literary writer as well. Current NYer story, The Prairie Wife, is about a 30-something mom in Minneapolis in a mindless high-tech job that she dislikes and in a fairly cerebral marriage arranged around tight schedules of work and child care; she spends way too much time on social media and is particularly fixated on the eponymous Prairie Wife, who is a best-selling cookbook and "lifestyle" author-celebrity - and about whom the protagonist knows a secret from her past. I won't give anything away except to say that this story has a major twist or pivot, which most won't see coming. Overall, it's a fine, smart reflection of celebrity, the pervasiveness of marketing and social media. on adolescent sexuality, and on the modern family - a lot of material, which Sittenfeld presents in a smart and engaging manner with the same easy, confidential, colloquial style that has made her novels popular and admired.