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Minor Canon

Renata Adler Speedboat tote

Regular price $25.00 CAD
Regular price $30.00 CAD Sale price $25.00 CAD
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Renata Adler (b. 1938) is an American author, journalist, and film critic. She was born in Milan and raised in Connecticut. After earning her B.A. in philosophy and German literature from Bryn Mawr College, Adler studied for an M.A. in comparative literature at Harvard under I. A. Richards and Roman Jakobson. She then pursued her interest in philosophy, linguistics and structuralism at the Sorbonne under the tutelage of Jean Wahl and Claude Lévi-Strauss, and later received a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an honorary doctorate of laws from Georgetown University.

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.

When Speedboat burst on the scene in the late ’70s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It seemed to disregard the rules of the novel, but it wore its unconventionality with ease. Reading it was a pleasure of a new, unexpected kind. Above all, there was its voice, ambivalent, curious, wry, the voice of Jen Fain, a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of contemporary urban America—and an avatar of the author, who wove numerous autobiographical details into the book. Party guests, taxi drivers, brownstone dwellers, professors, journalists, presidents, and debutantes fill these dispatches from the world as Jen finds it. 

Speedboat won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for best debut work by an American writer of fiction (the judges were Susan Sontag, Elizabeth Hardwick, and E.L. Doctorow). After falling out of print in 1988, the book was unavailable until it was reissued in 2013, spurring a renewed wave of praise and attention.

Adler is also the author of the novel Pitch Dark (1983) and numerous books of nonfiction and journalism. She lives in Connecticut.

This tote bag is adorned with the cover art from the first US paperback edition of Speedboat, published by Random House in 1976.

• 100% certified organic cotton 3/1 twill
• Fabric weight: 8 oz/yd² (272 g/m²)
• Dimensions: 16″ × 14 ½″ × 5″ (40.6 cm × 35.6 cm × 12.7 cm)
• Weight limit: 30 lbs (13.6 kg)
• 1″ (2.5 cm) wide dual straps, 24.5″ (62.2 cm) length
• Open main compartment
• Blank product components sourced from Vietnam


Size guide

One Size (inches) 16 14 ½ 5 24 1/2 1
One Size (cm) 40.6 36.8 12.7 61 2.5