Tristram, Claire 1959(?)-
TRISTRAM, Claire 1959(?)-
Born c. 1959, in Menominee, MI. Education: Stanford University, B.A. (comparative literature); Cornell University, M.B.A. and M.A. (Asian studies); attended Albert-Ludwigs University (Freiburg, Germany) and Tsukuba University (Japan).
Freelance journalist; Technology Review magazine, contributing editor.
Article of the Year Award, American Society of Journalists and Authors, twice winner.
After (novel), Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (New York, NY), 2004.
After has been translated into other languages, including German and Dutch. Contributor of fiction and articles to anthologies and to periodicals, including, Technology Review, Fiction International, Hayden's Ferry Review, Massachusetts Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, Salon, Wired, and New York Times.
Claire Tristram's debut novel, After, is a provocative "revenge fantasy," as People reviewer Maggie Haberman described it, about the widow of a man killed by a Muslim terrorist who takes who she thinks is a Muslim man as her one-day-stand lover. The novel was written in the aftermath of the terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, and is told in alternating perspectives that "create a taut narrative," in the opinion of Entertainment Weekly's Sarah Saffian. Several critics gave the novel qualified praise. According to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, for example, After, is a "tight" novel, one in which Tristram "skillfully ponders" various important aspects of life. In a Library Journal review, Prudence Peiffer described After as providing a "compelling psychological portrait about grieving, race, and sex," yet noted that the novel's plot is "never fully developed" and "oddly predictable." Applauding the novel's suspenseful storyline, a Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that Tristram keeps "the reader on a knife-edge" in this "bold, splashy debut." Other commentators remarked on the work's graphic sexual scenes: Emily Nussbaum, writing in the New York Times Book Review, commented about what she called the "too gloomily heavy-handed … use of sex as a metaphor," and Nation reviewer Cristina Nehring went so far as to call the novel a "slender pornographic exercise." Even so, Nehring noted that the "staccato narration of … gritty detail" is Tristram's strong suit. A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded that After "resonates long after the last sentence is read."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 2004, Kaite Mediatore, review of After, pp. 1349-1350.
Entertainment Weekly, May 7, 2004, Sarah Saffian, review of After, p. 92.
Interview, May, 2004, Richard Dorment, "Claire Tristram," p. 82.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2004, review of After, p. 153.
Library Journal, April 1, 2004, Prudence Peiffer, review of After, pp. 124-125.
Nation, June 14, 2004, Cristina Nehring, review of After, p. 49.
New York Times Book Review, May 23, 2004, Emily Nussbaum, review of After, p. 10.
People, June 7, 2004, Maggie Haberman, review of After, p. 52.
Publishers Weekly, April 26, 2004, review of After, pp. 41-42.
Washington Post Book World, May 30, 2004, Jennifer Howard, review of After, p. T8.
Claire Tristram Home Page,http://www.clairetristram.com (August 27, 2004).*