Monday, November 15, 2010

The New Yorker: "The Trojan Prince" by Tessa Hadley

Sorry, non-subscribers, you can’t read this one either. No great loss, however.

Tessa Hadley has a novel coming out next year, and I thought at first this was an excerpt, but it doesn’t seem to be. First, the descriptions of the novel that I was able to find seem completely unrelated to this story. And second, the online feature that I’ve only just discovereda short interview with the authormakes no mention that it’s an excerpt. See: This Week in Fiction: Tessa Hadley

So, I suppose it isn’t an excerpt.

But if sure does feel like one. This story feels very told, as if it is background material for something that is about to happen. (We even get a flash-forward, as if the author is confirming this very idea.)

It’s the 1920s, ambitious young James is hanging around with his rich cousin Ellen and their other cousin Connie. He think he’s interested in Ellen, although there are clues that he begins to lose interesthe doesn’t like the way her hair smells, for example. He then goes off to work for a shipping company and survives a shipwreck in Canada. When he writes home to announce his survival it is to Connie. And it’s Connie who meets him when he comes back.

End of story.  Not much here that I like, although James has potentialfor the novel that this feels like it wants to be.

November 15, 2010: “The Trojan Prince” by Tessa Hadley

5 comments:

Mark Hubbard said...

A Doctorow has just gone up: again, subscription only.

Pity.

As someone who has little interest in US politics, or current affairs, that is, for those of our who are not Americans, I'm afraid there's not enough reason to pay a whole subscription for one short story, so they've lost me.

Clifford Garstang said...

I don't blame you, Mark. I do like the other articles, but most outside the US would find little of interest in the mag. Keep checking Perpetual Folly, though, and I'll alert folks when there's a freebie.

Mark Hubbard said...

Yep, you're on my blog-roll each morning over breakfast Cliff.

(Read 'The Flood' last night: very good).

Clifford Garstang said...

Thanks, Mark.

Linera Lucas said...

The Tessa Hadley story was my favorite of an otherwise uninspiring year.