“Many people answer with ‘Yes, but . . .’” wrote Marcel Duchamp in 1954, in a tribute to his great friend Picabia, who had died the year before. “With Francis it was always: ‘No, because . . .’” Inventor of the “machinist painting” and carrier of the Dada virus to New York and
Percival Everett—author, academic, fly fisherman, woodworker, painter, and mule trainer—has a talent for militant irony that feeds on variety and extremes. Refreshingly profane, his novels have nimbly led such sacred cows as African-American studies and Native American reparations to the abattoir.
Tessa Hadley’s third novel is her most ambitious and successful to date, marking a return to the taut form of her much-lauded 2002 debut, Accidents in the Home. (Hadley’s second and oft-criticized book, Everything Will Be All Right , was a lumbering multigenerational saga that may come to occupy