Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Alexis Landau

Alexis Landau studied at Vassar College and received an MFA from Emerson College, and a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California.

Her new novel is The Empire of the Senses.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Landau's reply:
I recently finished Rachel Cusk’s novel Outline and I found it startling original and refreshing in its view of what it means to be an artist and a mother. Her language is piercing, astringent, and truthful; it feels as if one is drinking from a clear limpid stream, gulping down her wisdom and observations of the world. Cusk observes others with such acuity and wit, especially commenting on how people reveal almost anything about themselves if one sits quietly and listens, how narcissistic we all are despite facades of empathy or interest in others, and how the responsibility of being an artist as well as a mother can both drain a woman of her most vital resources while at the same time replenish and inspire her. Cusk’s restrained and exacting novel made a powerful impression in terms of her economy of language as well as the depth of philosophical themes she delves into, a good reminder that restraint and precision hits a reader hard. I also admire how she describes her characters physically and psychologically, resting on a few telling details (the color of someone’s nails or how they retell an event), which paints such a vivid and rich picture for the reader, it’s as if we’re right there with her.
Visit Alexis Landau's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Empire of the Senses.

--Marshal Zeringue