Stewart O’Nan: Pittsburgh’s Novelist of the Everyday


From an interview in Belt Magazine:

When time enough has passed for critics to start assessing how the Great Recession played out in American literature, it’s likely they’ll take a close look at Stewart O’Nan’s recent novels, especially 2007’s Last Night at the Lobster and 2011’s Emily, Alone. That’s partly because, dispiritingly enough, the shelf of novels that address the lower rungs of the middle class is a small one. But even in a crowded field, O’Nan’s books would stand out. In Lobster, O’Nan delivers both a close study of Manny, the manager of a soon-to-close Connecticut Red Lobster franchise, and of the workers and patrons who share their lives inside it during one day, captive to a brutal snowstorm. It’s early, but the novella is one of the most potent and sharpest portraits of work in the new century—few books in any era have done such a fine job of exploring how corporations stoke our loyalty, and how easily they betray it.


One thought on “Stewart O’Nan: Pittsburgh’s Novelist of the Everyday

  1. After hearing you at the Detroit Book and Author Luncheon, I purchased The Odds. Loved the portrait of a marriage. Recommended it to my Book Club. They thought it was depressing with no substance. I think that it hit too close to home since 5 out of 9 have been married 25 years or more. However, it provided one of our better discussions about marriage and spending. Learned a lot about their marriages that I never knew.
    Also since I go to the Red Lobster every Sunday, loved your characters in The Night at the Lobster.

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