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The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead: Worth revisiting?


the-man-who-loved-childrenJonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections, is urging bookish people to take another look at Christina Stead’s 1940 novel, The Man Who Loved Children, in Sunday’s New York Times book review essay. It’s a book about a dysfunctional family that has truly slipped off the literary radar.

Stead, an Australian writer who died in 1984, is best known for this particular book although she also penned more than 20 novels and collections of short stories.

Franzen says Stead’s book “operates at a pitch of psychological violence that makes Revolutionary Road look like Everybody Loves Raymond.” Apparently, Stead’s own father, a marine biologist, heavily influenced the father character in The Man Who Loved Children. Franzen seems drawn to the novel because it offers both humour and pain.

UPDATE – This novel has been selling like hot cakes on AbeBooks over the past weekend. It was easily the bestselling book on the site. Obviously, the opinion of Jonathan Franzen has some clout.

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