The Observer (UK): Austin Wright's 'Tony and Susan'

Austin Wright was a professor of English in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. Of his seven novels, Tony and Susan (published in 1993, 10 years before his death) was his most popular work. It tells the tale of a university professor (Susan) who receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, asking her to read it.

The book features a difficult task to pull off: a novel within a novel, as Susan reads the horrific story of a math professor named Tony and a vacation in Maine gone bad. The "[London] Times" encourages readers to take advantage of the book's reappearance, calling it a "masterful example of narrative intensity and artistic control."

Even so, "Observer" reviewer William Skidelsky questions why the Atlantic felt the need to reissue the work. He reports that he was told it is "the most astounding lost masterpiece of American fiction since Revolutionary Road."

Although he says he disagrees with that sweeping assessment, Skidelsky says, "'Tony and Susan' thus ends up being several things: an adventure story, an analysis of literary ambition, and a meditation on memory and the passage of time."

Read the full review from The Observer.

Read the full review from The Times (London).

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