RaveThe NationQuin’s first novel, Berg blends tropes and techniques of crime fiction, vaudeville, and modernist literature ... Alistair believes...the world as he knows it must be destroyed for some undefined new one to come. But what happens when, for whatever reason, annihilation cannot be achieved? What happens when you cannot escape respectable society, the social structures of patriarchy that you were born into? The remainder of Berg dramatizes this problem in dense, lyrical prose ... and it is this prose that makes Quin’s novel so dazzling 55 years later. The language of her book lurches in unexpected directions, fishtailing wildly from the dark to the erotic to the violent to the insanely funny. It feels barely in control, but willfully so. In insisting on this dicey means of narrative movement for the majority of the novel, [Quin] can make even simple actions feel berserk ... Reading Quin is a marvelously frustrating experience that works according to diffraction ... Everything feels frayed, dangerous—but also exciting. More than anything, her prose feels like an exploration of Virginia Woolf’s assessment in the essay Craftsmanship that the task of the writer is \'to see what we can do with the English language as it is.\'