In the late 1980s, the British music critic Simon Reynolds coined the term “miserabilism” to describe Morrissey and the numerous Manchester bands spreading their very personal gloom across the globe. The word could also be applied to the “Merritt Parkway Novel,” Gerald Howard’s term for the miserabilist fiction produced within a stone’s throw of the road cutting through affluent, suburban Connecticut, from Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit to Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road to Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm. Howard reevaluates the cultural impact of these novels and examines their continuing influence. Fittingly, Tin House 52 features work pushing the realistic envelope, including Amy Hempel’s powerful, closely observed story “A Full Service Shelter,” Alice Munro’s older couple coming to grips with mortality in “Dolly,” Sherman Alexie’s poem of loss and legacies in “Crazy Horse Boulevard,” and Anne Carson’s poetic essay on the idea of threat in “We Point the Bone.” Consider this summer reading as providing a few grains of sand in your suntan lotion, a little bit of grit to remind you of the depth and breadth of the human condition.
A note about the digital versions: If you read on a Kindle, use the Mobipocket edition; for all other e-readers, use the ePub edition.
Print orders ship free by media mail.