“The Snow Queen” by Michael Cunningham

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Michael Cunningham and I have quite a long-standing relationship. In my angsty teenage years, I discovered The Hours and the rest is history. The Snow Queen is Cunningham’s latest. I actually heard about it before it came out and got that shit pre-ordered. I’m usually two years behind.

In typical Cunningham fashion, The Snow Queen is a portrait of family and relationships. This time, we’re with four New Yorkers who are well into adulthood. They struggle with illness, death, heartache, phenomenon, poverty, and a lot of cocaine.

I love the way Michael Cunningham creates his worlds. He’s not afraid to address the craziest, most unique relationships, but when I read his books, they never seem unbelievable. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and he has a great way of portraying that without getting too depressing that you don’t want to read it anymore. Even if I’m not really into the story, his language and composition of sentences is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever read.

Another thing The Snow Queen shows is Cunningham’s love affair with New York City. New York is his city. He knows it backwards and forwards and he uses it as a character in each story. They live in a particular neighborhood for a reason and experience specific things because of that. (Side Note: this is one of the reasons I love Nora Ephron’s script for You’ve Got Mail. It’s a love letter to NYC and it shows.)

I wouldn’t put The Snow Queen at the top of my list of favorite Cunninghams, but it didn’t disappoint. I look forward to the next and the next. Keep ‘em coming, buddy.

To get your own copy of one of Michael Cunningham’s lovely novels, click here.

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