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Cursed by comfort

The latest generation of American authors are hobbled by ease and self-congratulation

By Emran Mian   July 2009

All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

By Tod Wodicka (Vintage, £7.99)

All the Sad Young Literary Men

By Keith Gessen (Vintage, £7.99)

Love and Obstacles

By Aleksandar Hemon (Picador, £12.99)

In one of the short stories in Aleksandar Hemon’s new book, the narrator describes the arc of his life in the most concise way possible, as a list of scenes for a film: “8. I go out for a stroll. I see a pretty girl. 9. My parents meet the pretty girl. 10. I marry the pretty girl.…

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