“Between the Lines” is the title of my monthly column in the Presidio Sentinel, a community newspaper in my San Diego neighborhood of Mission Hills. The column gives me license to write about all things bookish–reading and writing, book culture, &c. My latest column, “Reading Contemporary Americana,” was the result of reflections about two of 2011’s blockbuster novels, Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot and The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. The two stories had a number of things in common, and both novels were highly acclaimed, making a number of “best” lists for the year. Why did I like one so much more than the other?

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