The Atlantic

Nicole Krauss on Fame, Loss, and Writing About Holocaust Survivors

The National Book Award–nominated author discusses her books The History of Love and Great House

A few years ago, after her novel The History of Love became an international bestseller, Nicole Krauss reflected on her unexpected fame: “Something about the feeling of writing seemed to change for me once the book was published. I felt, a bit, as if I’d lost something hard to put my finger on, something personal and natural that I'd loved about writing.”

Today, Krauss is more accustomed to sharing her inner world with the public. Her newest book, Great House, has been nominated for a National Book Award, and early reviews have been packed with praise. “It is a high-wire performance,” wrote fellow author Rebecca Newberger Goldstein in a glowing New York Times book review earlier this week, “only the wire has been replaced by an exposed nerve, and you hold your breath, and she does not fall.”

Though the novel itself is currently in the spotlight, its characters are intensely private people. Many of them, like Krauss herself, are writers. And in the course of the novel, many of them end up sitting at the same enormous desk. When we first encounter this piece of furniture, it belongs to a Chilean revolutionary poet. Later, we see it in the lonely apartment of a divorced New York writer and in the London attic of an elderly German-Jewish refugee.

For most of the novel, it’s unclear what the desk represents or whether the book's far-flung characters will ever meet. But Krauss has a unique way of assembling novels—baroque, complex, and with a stunning tidiness that isn’t clear until the very last page. All the parts do fit together in the end.

Вы читаете отрывок, зарегистрируйтесь, чтобы читать полное издание.

Похожие интересы

Другое от: The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 мин. чтенияPolitics
Consider the Possibility That Trump Is Right About China
When a new coronavirus emerged in China and began spreading around the world, including in the United States, President Donald Trump’s many critics in the American foreign-policy establishment were quick to identify him as part of the problem. Trump
The Atlantic6 мин. чтенияPolitics
The Revolution Is Under Way Already
Far from making Americans crave stability, the pandemic underscores how everything is up for grabs.
The Atlantic10 мин. чтенияSociety
This Is What Happens When the Federal Government Abandons You
Local officials and health-care workers are losing faith in the national response, and struggling to improvise their own solutions.