Hatchet Jobs: Writings on Contemporary Fiction

Hatchet Jobs: Writings on Contemporary Fiction

by Dale Peck
     
 

Since the initial publication of Hatchet Jobs, the groves of literary criticism have echoed with the clatter of steel on wood. From heated panels at Book Expo in Chicago to contretemps at writers’ watering holes in New York, voices—even fists—have been raised.

Peck’s bracing philippic proposes that contemporary literature is at a

Overview

Since the initial publication of Hatchet Jobs, the groves of literary criticism have echoed with the clatter of steel on wood. From heated panels at Book Expo in Chicago to contretemps at writers’ watering holes in New York, voices—even fists—have been raised.

Peck’s bracing philippic proposes that contemporary literature is at a dead end. Novelists have forfeited a wider audience, succumbing to identity politicking and self-reflexive postmodernism. In the torrent of responses to this fulguration, opinions were not so much divided as cleaved in two with, for example, Carlin Romano contending that “Peck’s judgments are worse than nasty—they are hysterical” and Benjamin Schwarz retorting that “in his meticulous attention to diction, his savage wit, his exact and rollicking prose and his disdain for pseudointellectual flatulence, Dale Peck is Mencken’s heir.”

Hatchet Jobs includes swinging critiques of the work of, among others, Sven Birkerts, Julian Barnes, Philip Roth, Colson Whitehead, Jim Crace, Stanley Crouch, and Rick Moody.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dale Peck may have an ego the size of Montana. He may have annoyed half the known literary world with his screeds on other writers. But he may also be one of our most adventurous and singularly talented writers working today." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Alive, crackling and sparkling with electric energy . . .  Peck’s style is classic American, a jivey mix of rhetoric and spontaneity." —The Washington Post

"Peck challenges received critical wisdom with energy, fire, and unmitigated gall. Behind the loudmouth cynicism is an idealist who’d open a hill of literary oysters in search of a single pearl." —The Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595580276
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
4.84(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author


Dale Peck is the author of three widely acclaimed novels—Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye, The Law of Enclosures, and Martin and John— and a memoir, What We Lost. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two O. Henry awards. He lives in New York City.

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