Seventy-plus Ezra Blazer is a thinly disguised version of Philip Roth. Alice is a version of the writer of the novel, Lisa Halliday, who, however, reveals very little about the twenty-seven-year-old narrator of the first part of a remarkable novel in three sections. The successful writer and the young editor have a charming relationship that offers a vehicle for an exploration of creativity without appearing to be anything of the kind.
It’s not a spring-autumn romance. The second section tells a completely different story, whose origins are not difficult to decipher, but which is a self-contained narrative that answers a key question about creativity raised in the first section. And Blazer returns in the brief final segment in a most unexpected way, hinting at how the book holds together as a single unit.
If this novel has been described as a dazzling debut, it is because it deserves it.
Published in 2018.