Very Short List is a daily email newsletter, the brainchild of Kurt Andersen and Simon Dumenco among others, that provides one cultural recommendation a day. The picks lean toward books, films and other media that haven’t reached the over-hyped saturation point which is all too prevalent these days. Yesterday’s nod puts New Yorker staff writer Patricia Marx’s new book, Him Her Him Again the End of Him, in the sweet spot of a literary Venn diagram. VSL says:
It’s a first novel with a super-cute title (Him Her Him Again the End of Him) and a young female narrator who has a cad for a lover, a glam job, a difficult mother, and winning friends. But it’s also deeply funny and charming, an impeccable screwball comedy with just enough melancholy beneath the surface to seem anchored in real life.
The heroine’s self-deprecating asides — “I sense I haven’t convinced you yet,” “You’re probably going to be bored with anything I say about weather” — come across not as postmodern literary pretension but as the intimacies of a real person and lovable pal.
You can catch Patricia Marx at the Y when she speaks with fellow New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik on January 23.
[Adam Gopnik and Patricia Marx: At Home in New York: 1/23/07]