And here is my review:
"Talent is an intellectual delight woven around the intriguing and somewhat troubling New Testament parable of the talents, which would seem to teach that those who are given much will be blessed with more – and those who have been given little will pay for it.
Lapidos explores this theme through her main characters, Anna and Freddy.
Anna is a once promising but now thoroughly stalled graduate student in English literature, reduced to contemplating the nature of inspiration without doing much about it. Her family has begun to suggest she consider law school. Her advisor has suggested, with increasing urgency, that she find a case study sooner rather than later.
Frederick Langley, “Freddy”, is—or rather was-- an author who wrote three successful books as a young man and then wrote precisely nothing until his death. Literary critics believe he suffered from writer’s block, or, as Anna puts it, he had been inspired, and then de-inspired.
These two unlikely characters are linked by Freddy’s niece, Helen, who grants Anna access to the holy grail that could save her thesis: two notebooks written by Freddy himself. Clues about Freddy’s life and motivations, revealed through fascinating bits and pieces of story ideas and observations in the notebooks, are interspersed with Anna’s own existential crisis. Lapidos weaves it all together into a surprising ending that reminds us that motives are open to a wide range of interpretations, any of which is likely to be wrong.
I loved the characters in this book and their insights into both the human condition and the nature of the creative process. Plus, I'm always in for a campus novel with a unique lead character, snark, and a bit of mystery. "
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