One of the more recent entries in the annals of literary hype that threatens to overshadow actual achievement is Nell Freudenberger. Back in 2001, when the recent Harvard grad was an editorial assistant at The New Yorker, her short story “Lucky Girls” was published in the magazine, and she soon became known, both in New York publishing circles and beyond, as a wunderkind. She happened to be attractive. “Too young, too pretty, too successful” said the title of an article by Curtis Sittenfeld, in Salon. But then came a well-received first novel, The Dissidents, and a short story, “An Arranged Marriage,” in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 Fiction issue, in 2010, and awards, like the PEN/Malamud. And now with her second novel, Newlyweds (Knopf, 352 pp., $25.95), an extended version of “An Arranged Marriage,” comes her most successful effort yet, one that shows a more mature voice and the true triumph of her talent over her hype. Read More
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