Woman Walks Into A Room
How Nicole Krauss Reinvented Herself For Her New Novel
This past spring, the author Nicole Krauss went to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to see an exhibit of prints by the 17thcentury Dutch artist Hercules Segers. A trail of blood led down the hallway to the exhibit. When Krauss emerged from the gallery, that trail was still there, a record of some violence that had occurred in the ordinarily pristine setting.
The scene might have been written by Krauss, who has a penchant for examining the intrusion of the strange and surreal upon the every- day. Given that she also has a penchant for centering her novels on unlikely objects — one of the main characters in her 2010 novel “Great House” was a desk — it’s possible, and even likely, that she would choose the trail of blood to be her protagonist. Krauss, 42, told me that story (the speculation about protagonists is my own) in April, after participating in a panel about Jewish history and memory at Bard College. It was a cool day, with half-open daffodils dotting the secluded campus.