Thursday, May 2, 2024

A Review of "Come and Get It" by Kiley Reid


Kiley Reid’s second novel Come and Get It might appear to be a campus-set comedy of manners, but the joke will be on you if you think it’s only a satire of a self-involved academic/writer and a gaggle of coeds who lean on the phrase ohmygod a lot. It’s not that Reid fails to deliver witty insights about life at the University of Arkansas in 2017. For instance, at one point she describes her most sympathetic character Millie as follows: “She stood bright-eyed in her red RA polo with the posture of a zookeeper who feeds sea lions for a crowd.” But Reid has much more on her mind than pointing out character quirks, consumerist obsession, and social peccadillos. 

The academic, Agatha Paul, is a visiting professor teaching nonfiction and cultural and media studies, who gets most obsessed researching the young women of Belgrade (really its name, and it is not a choice housing location) dorm, first examining their thoughts on marriage, only to pivot to exploring their ideas about money. That’s a hint—the novel limns what one can and should do for money, but without any preachiness.

Care to read the rest then do so at the California Review of Books.

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