“I’m only experimental to people who would only read a certain kind of novel,” Lynne Tillman tells me over coffee on what I was told would be one of the last days of winter. “But to certain writers who see my commitment to narrative, they think, ‘Oh, she’s a narrative writer.'” Tillman’s right, of course. Her fiction, while not what you’d expect to find in airports or considered “easy reading” by any means, is slow moving, deliberate, and word-for-word perfect. That’s why she’s one of America’s best writers — and probably why she has been one of its most underrated since the time before her 1987 novel, Haunted Houses, was released.
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