Sociological Analysis of The Necklace From an American Studies Perspective

Robert Gross, my favorite professor at Amherst College years ago, just wrote my favorite review of The Necklace. Actually it’s a sociological analysis from an American Studies perspective, literary criticism at its finest, making me see my book in a way I’d never seen it before. Here it is:

“Susan Lentigo, the main character of The Necklace, is the classic American hero, leaving her small town in the East and venturing West to discover herself anew. In the novel, Susan is stripped of her money, reduced to scavenging for leftovers at fast food restaurants, and obliged to make connections with people unlike herself (Kyra the teenage rebel, the biker at the all-night coffee shop). She finds it hard to cast off the past, dragging that worn-out suitcase everywhere, its weight representing the crushing burden of her former life. But in the West, she comes to “trust herself,” as Kyra had advised, quoting Emerson’s credo. And as she does so, she learns to read the world with fresh eyes and discern the truth behind her daughter’s murder. In short, Witten has built a long-running theme in American Studies – the individual reinventing herself in the West – into the structure of The Necklace. You could describe the novel as a mashup of the Innocence Project and Emersonian self-reliance.”

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Matt Witten Posted on

Matt Witten is a TV writer, novelist, playwright and screenwriter who has been writing for television for the past twenty years, including such shows as House, Pretty Little Liars, Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Medium, JAG, The Glades, Homicide, Judging Amy, and Women’s Murder Club. He has written four mystery novels that were published by Signet: Breakfast at Madeline’s, Grand Delusion, Strange Bedfellows, and The Killing Bee. His movie Drones was produced by Whitewater Films. His novel The Necklace will be published by Oceanview Publications in September, 2021, and has been optioned for film by Appian Way and Cartel Pictures, with Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer.

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