reviews Twilight of the Superheroes By Deborah Eisenberg Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006, 225 pp., $23 With Twilight of the Superheroes, her first collection since All Around Atlantis (1997), Deborah Eisenberg pays new visits to her familiar territory. Previous reviewers have commented on the resemblances between Eisenberg's characters and J. D. Salinger's. Here, too, are dissipated New Yorkers, fractured families and disaffected youths. Eisenberg has not lost any of her skill at crafting characters that in their speech and mannerisms evince states of torturous self-consciousness. In her fiction she shows us how these highly sensitive persons maintain--and even cultivate--obliviousness toward the world around them. Eisenberg's stories have touchstones in reality. "Twilight of the Superheroes" explores the apolitical, everyday fallout of disaster. In the first of the story's many subtitled segments, Nathaniel, the younger of the story's two protagonists, narrates a yarn to his imagined grandchildren. He tells these future progeny about the "miracle" of Y2K. After months of planning for the disaster, "nothing happened! We held our breath. . . . And there was nothing! It was a miracle. Over the face of the earth, from east to west and back again, nothing catastrophic happened at all." ere
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Sep 11, 2006
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