Nathan Smith reviews The Snow Queen

Nathan Smith reviews The Snow Queen

The Snow Queen

by Michael Cunningham

Fourth Estate, $27.99 pb, 272 pp, 9780007557783

Telling the stories of brothers Tyler and Barrett, with interspersing brief moments from their lovers and mothers, Michael Cunningham’s The Snow Queen reunites its author with a familiar subject: the sublimity of the ordinary.

Barrett is a failed academic whose scholarly pursuits have dried up long before they should have begun to do so, while his romantic life is one mostly mediated by text messages and bottles of Pepsi. His brother fares no better, with dreams of a future career in music and an ever-growing drug habit. Tyler’s girlfriend, Beth, meanwhile is deteriorating before him, afflicted by a terminal cancer and existing like one of the many snowflakes that blows into his bedroom window – beautiful and present but inevitably destined to melt away in his hands.

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Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a Melbourne-based writer and aspiring academic interested in queer theory, contemporary fiction, and star studies. He completed his honours thesis last year on the queer investments of Elizabeth Taylor and is currently pursuing an MA at the University of Melbourne. He is currently helping edit the University of Melbourne’s graduate student academic journal antiTHESIS and has an article forthcoming in film journal Senses of Cinema.

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