Apr 11, 2014

Follow Friday: @adellewaldman, inside the mind of the hideous man

Adelle Waldman's first novel is an insightful and probing look inside the mind of the casually cruel man. Our correspondent ponders his own life in chatting with her about writing and Twitter.

Matthew Clayfield

Journalist, critic, screenwriter and playwright

Adelle Waldman's (@adellewaldmanThe Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. was one of the best new books I read last year. It could easily have been otherwise. The story of a young male novelist who is selfish and occasionally cruel but not at all without scruples or conscience, it ran the risk, on the one hand, of being a man-eating diatribe and on the other, of alienating readers with the specificity and potential solipsism of the literary milieu in which it is set. Instead, it proved psychologically insightful, criticising and sympathising with its characters in equal measure, a modest debut concerned less with ensuring the pre-eminence of its author than with honestly and fairly exploring the pain that one both causes and receives the course of one's early romantic and sexual adventures.

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