Dysfunction in the modern family


1951 In J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is lonely and alienated yet consumed by thoughts of his family.

1960 The first novel of John Updike’s “Rabbit” series is published, dramatizing family turmoil in contemporary America.

1993 In The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides tracks the unexplained suicides of five teenage sisters.


2003 In We Need to Talk about Kevin, Lionel Shriver tackles the subject of parenting a child who becomes a mass murderer.

2013 Theo Decker, the narrator of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, describes a family shattered by alcoholism and loss.

The title ...

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