The Last of Her Kind (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Sigrid Nunez has established herself as an award-winning author whose work has grown more ambitious in scope, moving from autobiographical themes to larger historical concerns. Her first novel, A Feather on the Breath of God (1995), drew upon her mixed cultural heritage as a daughter of a Panamanian Chinese father and a German mother in a Brooklyn housing project. While the intervening novels, Naked Sleeper (1996) and Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury (1998), mostly portray the private world of writers, Nunez’s fourth novel, For Rouenna (2002), concerns a brazen, loudmouth woman, a former Army nurse, who narrates to a semiretired author what service in the Vietnam War was like. With this novel, Nunez hit upon the formula of using dramatically contrasting characters to help portray the complexities of class and race in a specific historical milieu.
The Last of Her Kind continues in this vein by dramatizing many of the cultural upheavals of the 1960’s through the perspectives of two young women who meet as roommates at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. While Georgette George comes from a poor area in upstate New York, Ann Drayton is from an upper-class family; she grew up with servants and had an entire floor of the house to herself. Ann is successful, smart, and hard-working. Her teachers think she will likely become a leader someday. Instead of being able to appreciate her...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Book World 36 (January 29, 2006): 4.
Booklist 102, nos. 9/10 (January 1, 2006): 55.
Chicago Tribune, February 12, 2006, p. 6.
Entertainment Weekly, no. 855 (December 23, 2005): 83.
Kirkus Reviews 73, no. 21 (November 1, 2006): 1162.
Library Journal 131, no. 4 (March 1, 2006): 79.
Ms. 16, no. 1 (Winter, 2006): 76.
The New York Review of Books 53, no. 8 (May 11, 2006): 32-33.
The New York Times 155 (January 17, 2006): E8.
The New York Times Book Review 155 (February 5, 2006): 6.
The New Yorker 82 (March 13, 2006): 89.
Publishers Weekly 252, no. 40 (October 10, 2005): 33-34.
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