May 24, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am
Bookforum's new summer issue maps utopia, and though the word means "no place" in Greek, that absurdity hasn't inhibited a great many dreamers and schemers: History is littered with attempts to realize some portion of heaven on earth, and literature is rife with depictions of worlds gone right and worlds gone very wrong.
When he died in 1979, J. G. Farrell was hailed as his generation's greatest historical novelist. Thirty years later, the view still holds, at least among the judges of the "lost" Booker award, who granted the prize to Troubles, his wicked 1970 satire of Anglo-Irish relations set during the Irish War of Independence. Matthew Price, writing in Bookforum's fall 2005 issue, found Troubles to be "madcap and blackly comic, shot through with piercing evocations of the Irish landscape."
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