In January, in a piece about HBO's television series "Girls," and specifically, responding to the backlash surrounding the show's lack of diversity, senior editor of The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, wrote, "The problem isn't the Lena Dunham show is about a narrow world. The problem is that there aren't more narrow worlds on screen. Broader is not synonymous with better."
I agree with this, and say it also applies to fiction. For me, total immersion in a "narrow" world makes for the most pleasurably intense reading. The writers that do it right are able to pull back the curtain on a milieu (a place, an era, a profession) that's foreign to a reader, while creating characters so finely tuned and fully fleshed that they're easily recognizable, if not relatable. The very best ones are relatable. Jim Gavin's Middle Men, a short story collection about men in a very particular place in their ...
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