Michael Madden's Reviews > Edisto

Edisto by Padgett Powell
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Jan 27, 10


A coming of age novel for the generation whatever-the-fuck-my-generation is called. Finally, a novel that allows a teenager to have a refreshing amount of emotional maturity and levity. It lacks the cynicism and of Joyce's 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' and Salinger's 'Catcher in the Rye.'

American perspective is the main issue for Powell. How can an artist consider one's self so without exposure to the disparate cultures in America? It seems that, for me at least, that any literature that remains in one sphere of American culture fails to achieve what Powell does here. Similarly, what Denis Johnson achieves in Jesus' Son.

Also, the vernacular is spot on. I'm reminded of Faulkner in terms of creating atmosphere/setting through vernacular.



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