Mourning With the Help of a Great Dane
It would be wrong to suggest that Sigrid Nunez, a crisply philosophical and undervalued novelist, is preoccupied with animals. But when they do appear in her work, they leave an impression.
In her first novel, “A Feather on the Breath of God” (1995), which contains extraordinary writing about ballet, a man emigrates from China to Panama. As his boat leaves the dock, his dog, which has been brought to see him off, releases an unearthly howl.
Nunez’s novel “Mitz” (1998) is th...