M.T. Anderson

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 05, 2008

The Millions calls M.T. Anderson the David Foster Wallace of young adult literature and points to a profile in the Washington Post.

Anderson's attitude helps explain "Octavian Nothing," an ultra-challenging, two-volume young-adult novel that runs 900-plus pages and asks teen readers to contemplate the American Revolution from a wildly unfamiliar point of view. In case that's not challenging enough, he wrote it in "the particularly complex form of 18th-century English" that its title character would have used.

The first volume won a National Book Award in 2006. The second was published last month to further acclaim.

"I believe 'Octavian Nothing' will someday be recognized as a novel of the first rank, the kind of monumental work Italo Calvino called 'encyclopedic' in the way it sweeps up history into a comprehensive and deeply textured pattern," wrote an awed reviewer for the New York Times, tossing in references to Twain, Hawthorne and Melville for good measure.