Fiction Brian Morton The Dylanist: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060166625

The Dylanist: A Novel

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9780060166625: The Dylanist: A Novel

Brian Morton's Starting Out in the Evening made its mark on the literary world, with a PEN/Faulkner Award nomination, a citation as one of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and other honors. "This is what a novel is supposed to be," raved Newsday--and now, for the first time, Morton's debut novel is available in paperback. Telling the story of Sally Burke, a young woman raised by radicals who has inherited her parents' dissatisfaction with the world but not their passionate desire to change it, The Dylanist is "a compelling portrait of a generation as lost, though not nearly as self-importantly tragic, as any that F. Scott Fitzgerald described." (L.A. Weekly)

"Wonderful....All I can say is: This is one to buy, to read. It echoes in the brain, as your own life unfolds."-- Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times

"Astonishingly mature."-- E.L. Doctorow

"Sly wit...he may be to Sally's generation what Ann Beattie is to those a decade older--not the most flattering chronicler, but one of the truest."-- Philadelphia Inquirer

"A book to savor."-- Boston Sunday Herald

Starting Out in the Evening hit #13 on the Independent Bestseller List, was named a New York Times Notable Book and one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year, was a co-winner of the first annual Koret Jewish Book Awards, was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award, and was chosen for Salon's annual list of Favorite Books
Outstanding reviews for this "first novel of unusual merit" (New York Review of Books)
Delves into an era of great current fascination: "Morton has captured perfectly the feeling of growing up in the '60s and '70s" (Boston Sunday Herald)

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About the Author:

Brian Morton is the executive editor of Dissent magazine and the author of Starting Out in the Evening.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Dissent editor Morton's first novel--a smooth, eloquent, but thoroughly unsatisfying tale of a red-diaper baby who comes of age. Sally Burke is a clever and perceptive girl who suffers a tremendous confusion. The daughter of fiercely committed left-wing activists--her mother a radical freethinker, her father a communist union-organizer--she finds little comfort in their political certainties, but cannot see any plausible way of rebelling against them. So she drifts on, unhappily uncommitted, increasingly depressed, and preternaturally (if rather endearingly) cynical. At school, where she finds herself surrounded by classmates who define themselves through their ambitions, she feels ``roadless.'' At home, growing up in an environment where virtue is equated with sacrifice, she doubts her ability to love. ``Sally knew an eagle had been implanted in her skull and was struggling to break free,'' but, lacking her parents' certitude and her friends' confidence, she feels earthbound and listless. Her sympathies are engaged first by Owen, a young writer whose simplicity and helplessness provide her with an object of devotion--but she is eventually worn down by his childishness. Ben McMahon, her next lover, is another unionizer who recognizes Sally's quandary: she is a ``Dylanist,'' a wanderer for whom feelings and experience are ends in themselves. Through her father's death she gains an awareness of mortality, and concludes that she can continue his struggle in domestic (rather than political) terms by raising a family of her own. This salvation-through-motherhood approach has a hollow ring, however, and seems a forced solution to an unresolved problem. A nicely written tale that badly wants a climax--so badly, in fact, that the author settles for an ending that doesn't fit the story. Enjoyable but seriously flawed. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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