Renata Adler

“[S]omething odd kept happening,” Renata Adler said, of writing Speedboat. “Once I had an anecdote, and my intention was to keep going until I reached the whole point, my reason for telling it, I noticed that well before I got to what seemed to be the point, I stopped.” Adler’s singular approach to the novel created an unforgettable impressionistic portrait of life in 1970s New York. Narrator Jen Fain describes scenes from her life in all their peculiarity and splendor. Encounters with lovers, street vermin, celebrities and taxi drivers are all granted equal significance, bound together by Jen’s incisive voice. Now back in print for the first time in years, with a new Afterword by Guy Trebay.


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About the Author

Renata Adler


Renata Adler became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1963 and, except for a year as the chief film critic of The New York Times, remained at The New Yorker for the next four decades.

"That 'writers write' is meant to be self-evident. People like to say it. I find it is hardly ever true. Writers drink. Writers rant. Writers phone. Writers sleep. I have met very few writers who write at all."

-Renata Adler, Speedboat