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More satisfying are those works whose politics are woven through the narratives along with multiple other strands, the result being a more complex and multidimensional work. Environmentalism and animal rights are cut into all aspects of Joy Williams’s The Quick and the Dead, yet there are so many other facets to the characters that we feel like we’ve gone on the journey with the young, complicated, not always sympathetic young women, instead of having the sensation of being mansplained to for six-hundred plus pages by a very well-intentioned Important Novelist.

Rob Spillman has debuted a new column at Guernica, with a focus on politics and fiction. Up first for discussion? David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

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