38 Years on Books: The Essential Michiko Kakutani Reader – New York Times

Dave Eggers’s new book, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” is part autobiography, part postmodern collage, a novelistic “memoir-y kind of thing” that tells the sad, awful, tragic story of how the author’s mother and father died within weeks of each other and how he became a surrogate parent to his 8-year-old brother, and tells it with such style and hyperventilated, self-conscious energy, such coy, Lettermanesque shtick and such genuine, heartfelt emotion, that the story is at once funny, tender, annoying and, yes, heartbreaking — an epic, in the end, not of woe, though there’s plenty of that too, but an epic about family and how families fracture and fragment and somehow, through all the tumult and upset, manage to endure.

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