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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 82

Critics have compared Harold Brodkey to such noteworthy American authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe. In contrast to them, however, Brodkey was neither an eclectic nor a derivative writer. He brought to his writing a singular gift for detailed description of...

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Critics have compared Harold Brodkey to such noteworthy American authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe. In contrast to them, however, Brodkey was neither an eclectic nor a derivative writer. He brought to his writing a singular gift for detailed description of the commonplace and an occasional eerie penetration of the human psyche. A plodding perfectionist, Brodkey was clearly the son of the highly competent, intelligent, energetic, and hardworking woman he described in “Ceil.”

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