Anthony Cummins

Between Friends

What Are You Going Through

By

Virago 224pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

The vogue for autofiction has brought developments to cherish as well as indulgences to deride. One of the reasons the term has caught on is the appeal not so much of novels based on their authors’ lives – that isn’t new – but of an approach to storytelling that is attractively minimalist in terms of narrative furniture. In Sigrid Nunez’s new novel, for instance, the fact that the two central figures – the narrator and her dying friend – are never named only adds to the reality effect: they don’t need introducing, they just are. It’s perhaps no coincidence that the narrator’s friend is just one of several characters in the story to express an impatience with books: ‘I keep wanting to say, Why are you telling me all this?

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter