Current Issue #488

Book Review:
Unfinished Business

Over a 60 year career US journalist and critic Vivian Gornick has done a lot of reading. In Unfinished Business, Gornick revisits a handful of key works in a poignant reflection on literature and change.

Vivian Gornick holds an enviable body of work that incorporates the essay, criticism and memoir into astute commentary on literature, society and politics, a style she calls ‘personal journalism’ that has since been adopted by the likes of Jia Tolentino. 

Still publishing well into her 80s, her latest release sees her return to a range of titles with a fresh perspective. What follows are reflections on how historical and societal perceptions have changed the context of particular works, how certain writers influenced Gornick, as well as tender observations on Gornick’s own relationship to reading, writing and ageing. 

Though not always as well-known as Sontag or Didion, Gornick’s work continues to be essential reading for lovers of the narrative essay. 

Author: Vivian Gornick
Publisher: Black Inc

Kylie Maslen

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Kylie Maslen is a writer and critic from Kaurna/Adelaide, and the author of Show Me Where it Hurts: Living with Invisible Illness (Text Publishing).

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