About the Book
As with Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, Victoria Schorr's Mid-Air: Two Novellas is literary diptych. The first story, "Great Uncle Edward," is a tale of a grand dinner party in the manner of Joyce's "The Dead" and Blixen's "Babette's Feast". An unnamed female narrator hosts the Manhattan event for her husband's ninety-three-year-old uncle, which allows for a conversation that ranges from Edith Wharton, whose House of Mirth we discussed just last month, to the family's curious history alongside Jamesian themes of class. In the second story, "Cleveland Auto Wrecking," an immigrant arriving to Ellis Island in abject poverty parlays a scrap metal business into real estate holdings that result in the attainment of happiness—or, so it seems. Taken together, both stories humanize divergent entanglements of the American Dream.
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