Unfinished Business by Vivian Gornick | Black Inc.

Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader

Awards for Unfinished Business

  • Finalist, 2020 National Book Critics Circle Awards

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About the author

Vivian Gornick

Vivian Gornick is the author of several books, including Fierce Attachments and The Odd Woman and the City, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Her work has appeared widely, including …

More about Vivian Gornick

Read an extract

Unfinished Business

Praise for Unfinished Business

‘Gornick’s ferocious but principled intelligence emanates from each of the essays in this distinctive collection … The author reads more deeply and keenly than most, with perceptions amplified by the perspective of her 84 years … As always, Gornick reveals as much about herself as about the writers whose works she explores … Literature knows few champions as ardent and insightful — or as uncompromising — as Gornick, which is to readers’ good fortune.’ —Kirkus (starred review)

‘Gornick’s new book is part memoiristic collage, part literary criticism, yet it is also an urgent argument that rereading offers the opportunity not just to correct and adjust one’s recollection of a book but to correct and adjust one’s perception of oneself … Lively, personable book.’ —Chloë Schama, New York Times Book Review

‘Vivacious and highly recommended.’ —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

‘In this brief and characteristically pithy collection … through steady, sculpted prose and elegant readings, Gornick concludes the work of great literature is less about ‘the transporting pleasure of the story itself’ than revealing readers to themselves … The insights in this rich work will be appreciated by Gornick fans and bibliophiles alike.’ —Publishers Weekly

‘Gornick’s prose is warm where others are ashamed, open-ended where others slam shut doors and scold, funny when so many take themselves too seriously. Gornick brings all these sounds to the work of reading, too, which she views with the same infinite loop … [I]f you need to be reminded of the lifelong luxuriance of reading, it’s hard to imagine another book in 2020 will come even close to Gornick’s Unfinished Business. —John Freeman, Lit Hub Executive Editor

‘How grateful I am for this latest book of Gornick’s, nudging me, prodding me, opening vistas for me, every step of the way.’ —Inside Story

‘A slender, provocative book ... breathtaking.’ —The Australian