I just finished reading Less, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Andrew Sean Greer. He was asked in an interview for The Guardian, “You’re an identical twin. How has that shaped your perception of identity?” He answered in part, “I am used to being with another person in the world, so it makes it lonelier when I’m not with him.” This is the theme that struck me most when following the life of Arthur Less, the novel’s protagonist: the theme of loneliness. The novel has been described as a tragic comic story, a same-sex love story, a satire of the American abroad, a bittersweet meditation on love and aging, a romantic comedy, a satirical comedy, and more. I see it as a serious study of the fear of being alone—which here means growing old without someone to love … which is an underlying theme in each of my own novels.
This series is appropriate for both young adults (ages 18+) and older readers alike. The history of the Panhandle serves as the backdrop of each book and is weaved into the character development and the story itself, so you are learning pieces of Texas Panhandle history while reading a fun and engaging book.
These books are family sagas and multigenerational – each story spanning across several generations from grandparents to parents to children and grandchildren. They tackle tough subjects like class differences, interracial relationships, PTSD, alcoholism, and family loss. Even with these tough topics, each book is still rich with humor, love, and personal growth. And one thing is known from the beginning – these stories all have a happy ending.