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american genius is written in cadences both sharp and mesmeric. it is concerned with the drama of obsession and neurosis as a lone woman in an alien environment muses on illness and the lure of cats, on her parents and her friends, on the strangeness of the known world. she studies the figures around her, unsure of herself but certain about many other matters. she has an interesting mind and a large store of fact and anecdote and observation. this is a new sort of noverl, all the more interesting and engrossing for that. - colm toibin