This morning, at the Barnes & Noble Review, you’ll find my essay on John P. Marquand. Several critics, including Martha Spaulding, Terry Teachout, and Jonathan Yardley, have attempted to revive Marquand’s flagging reputation. I reread six of Marquand’s novels for this piece, as well as Millicent Bell’s biography, and I was surprised to discover that they spoke more to me this time around than when I first read the books in my twenties. A Marquand novel may present a narrative not dissimilar to another Marquand novel, but it can always be counted upon for a veritable codex of human behavior. (And, incidentally, Marquand is very much an influence on Humanity Unlimited. The rereading here helped me very much to tighten a few places in the novel.)
© 2008, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.