[PW] US fiction, feminist (?) by Lindsay? Lindsey? SOLVED

Alison Tomlin alison.tomlin at phonecoop.coop
Sun Jul 26 13:30:32 PDT 2015

Apologies to anyone who's tried to answer my question: you were badly misinformed. Just solved own problem by dint of hours of Googling mostly wrong words … 
It's Lynne Tillman American Genius: a Comedy, 2006. My faulty pointers include
	third person (it's first)
	Lindsay/Lindsey (it's neither)
	title including brackets (I made that up)
	very long title (I made that up too) 

At least the date is firmly between 2000 and 2010 and I got the main elements of the plot right. 

I got there by plodding through Wikipedia's Category:21st-century American novelists list (which doesn't include her), then 20th century https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:20th-century_American_novelists&pagefrom=Sumner,+Melanie Melanie+Sumner#mw-pages

If anyone tried: thank you! (Given I got the plot right-ish, if you had to try then you didn't know it already. Reviewers agreed with me that it's well worth a read!)


On 23 Jul 2015, at 12:12, Alison Tomlin wrote:

> - and I think that's first name, but may be surname. Original title (which I think was amended slightly in 2nd edition) included a phrase in brackets; the whole title was very long by the standards of fiction. 
> By a woman, who as far as I remember was an academic, definitely US, published in US:
> - about, and 'inside the head' of, a (white and straight, I assumed - at least, no pointers to any sort of 'minority' identity) well-educated, professional woman (also an academic?). Fairly certain written in 3rd person despite being 'inside character's head'
> - lives in some sort of therapeutic community (men as well as women; resident psychotherapist/-analyst/psychiatrist); by implication private and expensive  
> - leaves at the end to go home, where I think she lives by herself or with her mother
> - extraordinarily long and beautifully constructed sentences; a lesson in the use of the comma, semi-colon and colon; no dialogue till about ⅕ from the end, when woman joins in community dramatic performance
> - only evidence of 'madness' is that she dismantles objects (maybe clockwork?) and arranges the parts in her room (on the floor?)
> - I laughed out loud, though I doubt there are any overt jokes in the book. There's something about the sentence construction that goes with the obsessive dismantling/sorting
> - I'm classifying it as 'feminist' only because it's such a brilliant exposition of the inside of a woman's head, and it's not a woman who focuses at all on men
> - published in US, definitely after 1995; probably between 2000 and 2010; certainly before 2012. 
> Same author wrote two earlier novels, which I read after the one I'm asking about. I think one was about a trip to Europe, involving male lover/s. The earlier novels showed signs of development of the control of style and voice in the one I'm asking about, but they were nothing like as astonishing. 
> While I did remember her name, I searched for later novels - none for at least five years. Think she had some academic (lit crit?) publications too. 
> Thanks very much to anyone who can help.
> Alison
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