I believe I first heard about Renata Adler's novel Speedboat (1976) from an article on David Foster Wallace, who is a fan of the novel (and used it as a text in his class). It is an unusual novel in that it doesn't have a traditional narrative, rather it is a series of musings, remembrances, and aphorisms of a young, intellectual New York woman. The tone and style of the writing calls to mind other female East coast writers like Joan Didion and Deborah Esienberg. I can not quite describe why I enjoyed this book so much, but it seems to have some profound musings. Here are a sample of some:
I think sanity, however, is the most profound moral option of our time.
But now I know it's mostly an agony of trying to please, a cast of mind so deep and amiable that it is a stark in consciousness as death.
My capacity for having a good time exists. it surfaces, however, on odd occasions.
I think when you are truly stuck, when you have stood still in the same spot for too long, you throw a grenade in exactly the spot you were standing in, and jump, and pray. It is the momentum of last resort.
The radical intelligence in the moderate position is the only place where the center holds. Or so it seems.
People who are less happy, I find, are always consoling those who are more.
These types of observations are collected in all sorts of anecdotes throughout the book. It is evidently the work of someone with razor sharp intelligence and wit. I look forward to reading her other novel Pitch Dark.