A novel unlike anything that came before it that changed all that came after it - a cult classic for readers of Maggie Nelson, Jenny Offill, Ben Lerner and Anne Carson
Jen Fain is a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of 1970s New York. Party guests, taxi drivers, brownstone dwellers, professors, journalists, presidents, and debutantes fill these dispatches from the world as she finds it.
Simultaneously novel, memoir, commonplace book, confession, and critique - Speedboat is funny, disturbing, cutting, brilliant unlike anything that had come before. Since it burst onto the scene in the 1970s, it has enthralled generations of readers and been a touchstone for writers including David Foster Wallace, Claudia Rankine and Jenny Offill.
With an introduction by Hilton Als
One of the more penetrating and oddly hypnotizing books I know; reading it is like being in a snowstorm. ...If all you get from SPEEDBOAT is a shudder of pleasure and self-recognition, you are probably not reading deeply enough. Welcome Back, Renata Adler
I was in love and then I wasn't, and sometime during the drifting gray interim I was told by a bookseller friend to read SPEEDBOAT, a novel that had long been out of print but was absolutely, he insisted, worth the trouble of the search. ... My friend was correct, as booksellers usually are; it was as though the novel had outstretched arms and I fell in
Adler is page by page, line by line, and without interruption, brilliant
SPEEDBOAT is dazzling ...line for line and sentence for sentence, it seems to me thrilling. ... observant, funny, urban
The kind of book you buy multiple copies of to push on friends, the kind you dog-ear and mark up until it could line a hamster cage. It will literally knock your socks off. Read it - CHICAGO TRIBUNE
RENATA ADLER was born in Milan and raised in Connecticut. She received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr, an M.A. from Harvard, a D.d E.S from the Sorbonne, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.D. (honorary) from Georgetown. Adler became a staff writer at the New Yorker in 1963 and, except for a year as the chief film critic of the New York Times, remained at the New Yorker for the next four decades. Her books include A YEAR IN THE DARK (1969); TOWARD A RADICAL MIDDLE (1970); RECKLESS DISREGARD: WESTMORELAND V. CBS ET AL., SHARON V. TIME (1986); CANARIES IN THE MINESHAFT (2001); GONE: THE LAST DAYS OF THE NEW YORKER (1999); IRREPARABLE HARM: THE U.S. SUPREME COURT AND THE DECISION THAT MADE GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENT (2004); and the novels SPEEDBOAT (1976; winner of the Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Novel) and PITCH DARK (1983).