The Age of Awesome

More

I finished Edith Wharton's masterpiece yesterday, and I'm still kind of reeling. I generally try to avoid honorifics like "best novel ever" or "greatest American novel" and so on. But Age of Innocence really is quite incredible, and, at the moment, I consider it the best novel I've ever read. 


Maybe that's the glow talking, I don't know. All I can say is  that I see a lot of artists take battle-axes to institutions that they don't like, and often those institutions deserve that treatment. Wharton does something much more difficult. She takes a switch-blade to "society," with all its bigoted underpinnings, and carves it up, all the while giving her the employers of society agency, breadth and life. And, as I've said before, the book is deeply romantic in a way that we don't often see romance depicted today.

I don't want to say too much more, except that it's a great book executed by a writer at the top of her game. It's ruined me for fiction for awhile....

...though I do have a copy of Middlemarch sitting on my desk. Don't you love how I've gone all literary feminist on ya'll mofos?
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Stop Telling Women to Smile'

An artist's campaign to end sexual harassment on the streets of NYC.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In