Meg Wolitzer

Book Reviews
4:23 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

'Speculation' Shows Good Stories Come In Small Packages, Too

Random House/Knopf

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:32 pm

Jenny Offill's novel Dept. of Speculation, which weighs in at 192 pages soaking wet and includes a fair amount of white space, is extremely short for a novel. It's an unusual book not only in terms of its size, but also its form. Make no mistake, this is an experimental novel. By which I mean that the narrative isn't a series of flowing scenes that keep you reassuringly grounded in plot, but a collection of vignettes, observations and quirky details that are sometimes pulled from real life.

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