Christian Lorentzen

Christian Lorentzen has worked as an editor at US Weekly, the New Leader, Harper’s and the LRB and has edited two volumes of pieces from n+1. He has a news­letter on Substack.

The debate​ last month between Biden and Trump was painful to watch because it reminded us that someday we’ll all die. In retrospect Biden’s advanced age was a political asset in 2020. By contrast with the sneering and erratic Trump, given to mocking the disabled and insulting anyone unlucky enough to be in his vicinity, here was a kindly and familiar old man who had suffered...

‘Ihave clandestine conversations with supposedly nonexistent personages,’ Alicia Western tells her psychiatrist in Stella Maris, the second of two novels by Cormac McCarthy published this autumn. The leader of these phantoms is called the Thalidomide Kid. He’s a bit over three feet tall (Alicia measured this by comparing their shadows), has a bald and scarred head and...

How tf was I privileged? ‘Fuccboi’

Christian Lorentzen, 10 March 2022

The title​ is ironic. Whatever a ‘fuckboy’ is – my understanding is that it’s a slang term, about a decade old, for young American men in cities who conduct a caddish heterosexual sex life – the narrator of Sean Thor Conroe’s first novel, who shares the author’s name, doesn’t do much fucking. ‘Fucced Boy’ or ‘Fuccup’...

The Family Biden

Christian Lorentzen, 6 January 2022

Sofar Joe Biden has fulfilled the promise of his campaign. His administration has been mostly dull, and nothing has radically changed. Towards the end of the summer, after the US evacuation from Kabul, his approval rating dipped below 50 per cent and over the autumn it sank into the low 40s. In the media he’s widely seen as a lame duck, as columnists speculate about whether he will...

I was invisible: Viet Thanh Nguyen

Christian Lorentzen, 18 November 2021

The narrator​ of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s pair of novels, The Sympathiser (2015) and The Committed, is one of the more irresistible characters in recent American fiction. He smokes, he drinks, he sniffs powders. He’s a playboy who sometimes can’t get it up. He’s a lowlife, a drug dealer, a street fighter. He’s an intellectual with a graduate degree and he’s a...

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