Lynne Tillman’s unnamed narrator in American Genius is a geyser of talk. Stuck in a New Age colony for scholars, she holds forth on cats, skin rashes, and her fear of overflowing toilets. She’s a flotilla of neuroses à la Woody Allen, given to free association: ”It’s the wild stallion, the uncapturable horse, I cherish…” While such asides are initially irritating — where’s the plot, the dialogue? — Tillman’s prose builds to poetic brilliance. Here is a mind folding in on itself.
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