Originally Posted by robinsongreen68
just catching up on this thread but i can't miss an opportunity to recommend ben marcus's 'notable american women'. the best contemporary american novel i've read for ages, particularly if you come via European literature. he's influenced by kafka, borges, thomas bernhard, but completely original at the same time.
I dunno, he might seem original if you haven't read his classmate Mathew Derby, or practically any other Brown/McSweeney's circle jerk author during that period. And sure, everyone name drops Borges, Bernhard et al, but his work has more in common with the US postmodern fiction of the 60's (note his schooling again, under Robert Coover).
Not to take anything away from Marcus, but I'd grab his first book (it's shorter, and does the same things) and put him way down the to read
list for someone with limited time for contemporary American lit.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Also, since '97 or so, I believe Infinite Jest to be the answer to every question....