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Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill

Most reviews of Netherland have focused on the relationship between two main male characters, Chuck and Hans, and on the dramatic and emblematic role of cricket in the novel. Yet a quieter but equally resonant storyline–the unraveling of Hans and Rachel’s marriage–seems to have been labeled by critics as secondary, or even undeveloped. Perhaps this is because so-called important books don’t deal with issues of domesticity and marriage. Or, if they do, we’re quick to give them another, more important label as well: a book about identity, or politics, or globalization, or exile.



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