Lee Siegel reviewing Dave Eggers’ novel What Is the What:
“Perhaps, having run out of marketable stories to tell about ourselves, we will now travel the world in search of desperate people willing to rent out their lives, the way indigent people in some desolate places give up their children. Perhaps we have picked our psyches clean, and now we need other people’s stories the way we need other people’s oil.”
There are other, far better tendencies in US fiction than what Siegel pans here, including the work of Andre Vltchek and Ron Jacobs at Mainstay Press. Of course, Mainstay novels are of the sort the publishing establishment is loathe to market in the hostile social atmosphere, of which Siegel is symptomatic, and which may account for his not mentioning (as vital viable contrast) such work in his review.