“Pardon Edward Snowden”
by Joseph O’Neill
from the December 12, 2016 issue of The New Yorker
I thoroughly enjoyed Joseph O’Neill’s 2008 novel, Netherland. I was reading it when my second son, Holland, was born, and a few months later Holland and I met O’Neill at a reading in Tribeca. He was eloquent and gracious. I’m not enthusiastic about this week’s selection, though. I haven’t been impressed by anything of O’Neill’s since. To make things worse, the first question Willing Davidson asks O’Neill in the “This Week in Fiction” column is “What’s the worst petition that you’ve been personally asked to sign?” (see here). This makes me worried that there’s not a lot going on in this piece. I’ll have to get over these initial hurdles and try to approach the piece without any of my preconceived notions, which I hope are wrong.
As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts below!