from “In Praise of Prose” at Commentary Magazine:
In a literary age dominated by absurdists, genre benders, hysterical realists, and post-modern transgressives, Francine Prose quietly goes about her business within the great tradition of the novel, coming out every year or so with a new book that unravels human complexities by telling an interesting story about them. Although she has received far less critical attention and praise than other novelists of her generation (Marilynne Robinson, Richard Ford, Jane Smiley, or Richard Russo), and though she has never received the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, or even the Orange Prize for fiction by a woman, Francine Prose has produced a body of work that, taken as a whole, is without peer in contemporary American fiction.
I’ve now read three by Francine Prose, A Changed Man, Reading Like a Writer and Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife. All are excellent, and I plan on reading more as I’m able. She is erudite, but accessible, and her work makes me want to read and learn more. Is there higher praise?