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Thursday September 18, 2014
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Craig Holden

 

continued

attitudes of southeastern Michigan, but The Jazz Bird was a historical novel placed in Cincinnati during the 1920s. In a couple of books, including the just-released The Narcissist's Daughter, he is obviously using the landscape of northern Ohio, although he has found a way to make it both real and mythic, an Anywhere, America, that remains specific to his characters.

The Narcissist's Daughter is another historical novel, but one that doesn't go back quite so far. Here most of the action takes place in the early 1970s, when whatever it was we labeled "the sexual revolution" entered middle-class culture. Sexuality, with its uncertain, often violent intersections with both obsession and love, is the stick that motivates the characters in this novel. And there is a crime, although it comes comparatively late and the question is not "Who done it?" but "Who was killed?"

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