Ben Marcus   Notable American Women  
Ben Marcus    
Read an Interview with Ben Marcus

Read an Excerpt from Notable American Women


Readers who appreciate prose that stretches the already-fuzzy boundaries of language will be sure to enjoy Ben Marcus' new novel, Notable American Women. On one hand a (relatively) straightforward story about a bizarre child-rearing experiment, and on the other a history of a fictitious feminist group, The Silentists, and its charismatic leader Jane Dark, the novel plays with form with skill and humor.

Marcus, who currently teaches creative writing at Columbia University and edits the literary magazine Fence, published the collection The Age of Wire and String in 1995, and his fiction has appeared in publications like McSweeney's and Harpers. As a writer, editor, and teacher, Marcus is clearly attuned to the workings of language. His book launches an inquiry into the power that the subjective takes on when it's posed as the objective (as in the excerpt included here) and the production of language as an oral—and thus ultimately consumptive and abject—activity.

Marcus's writing, while clever and provocative, is also surprisingly accessible. Read the Bold Type interview with Ben Marcus, along with an excerpt, "Dates," from Notable American Women, and if your curiosity is piqued, check out his web site, You would be wise to catch Ben while he's on his sure-to-be-entertaining book tour this Spring.

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    -- Megan Lynch  
  Photo credit: Laura Buchwald

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