The Autograph Man

I am getting lots of reading done during my break! And I have finally finished Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man, which was a birthday present from last year.

It’s good; quirky characters that still manage to be human beings. We follow the obsession of Alex Li Tandem, an autograph collector since boyhood, who has been writing letters to a forgotten starlet named Kitty Alexander. His friends, one a rabbi, another a video store owner/Jewish mystic, and another autograph collector kind of hover around him, dealing with various aspects of his life: a stalling relationship with one friend’s sister and the death of his father being the most pressing.

Lots of ideas here: the fetishization of image and artifact, private obsessions, and other things that prevent one from engaging fully in life and relationships. Something like that– since I don’t have to officially review it anywhere, I galloped through it, which is a rare luxury.

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