Independent People

(Fiction; 1946; repr., Vintage, 1997)

“There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life.” So wrote Brad Leithauser in his 1995 review of Independent People for the New York Review of Books. His words are remarkable because, in a way, they amount to a critical mistake: his piece is a complete loss of objectivity, a gushing of love. What is this book that inspired such an ardent break from the norms of critical review?

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