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Letter to the Editor re: Fernanda Eberstadt’s “The Furies”

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In his review of Fernanda Eberstadt’s novel The Furies (Sept. 14), Bruce Bawer spends nearly one-fifth of his prose on Eberstadt’s views on gay marriage — which he grossly and wrongly conflates with those of her characters. Gay marriage happens to be Bawer’s subject, but it occupies less than half a page in Eberstadt’s novel. His approach is comparable to devoting half a review of Anna Karenina to Tolstoy’s views on collecting wild mushrooms.

Further, Bawer’s conflation of Eberstadt’s morals with those of her characters is unfair and reductive; her tale reveals the pitfalls of two opposed ways of thinking, championing neither. I happen to have loved the novel. Bawer is entitled to dislike it; but he ought to read it as a novel, and accept that, like many novels, it is not about his particular political interests.