One-Minute Book Reviews

September 7, 2009

Aleksandar Hemon Sends Up a Pulitzer Prize–Winner’s Bad Writing

Filed under: Short Stories — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 9:42 pm
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Aleksandar Hemon has an amusing sendup of the bad writing of a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist in “The Noble Truths of Suffering,” a story in Love and Obstacles (Riverhead, 224 pp., $25.95). An example of the pretentious prose of Dick Macalister (whose name and literary affect suggest Cormac McCarthy): “Before Nam, Cupper was burdened with the pointless enthusiasm of youth.” There and elsewhere in the story, Hemon nails the macho posturing that prize judges often reward, though his tale is more than a sendup of pomposity. “The Noble Truths of Suffering” appeared in The New Yorker and remains on its Web site.


  1. Great story! Glad to see it still online as I missed it in the magazine (although it’s probably still around here somewhere).

    Comment by draabe — September 10, 2009 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  2. So glad you like it! You might have caught up with the story at just the right time: I’d bet that “Love and Obstacles” will get strong consideration in the approaching prize season (with the National Book Awards up first in November). Unless the real “Dick Macalister” is on the judging panel …

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — September 10, 2009 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  3. […] Furthermore: More about Love and Obstacles appeared on this site on Sept. 7. […]

    Pingback by The Ambiguous Losses of Aleksandar Hemon’s ‘Love and Obstacles’ – Tales of Immigrants Who Are ‘There, But Not There’ in America « One-Minute Book Reviews — September 18, 2009 @ 12:18 am | Reply

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