I like how Kunkel concludes his introduction (which can be seen online here; link via Twitchelmore):
Americans won't feel quite the same need as an Austrian of Handke's generation to wake from historical habits of mind and action into a patient, slow, form-discovering style of careful attention. But it does seem that such wakefulness grows at once harder and more valuable as electronic noise and communications crowd the margins of our thoughts—and here is a book, more untimely today than when it was first published, from which anyone might receive an image of what Handke calls "being able to live an acceptable life even at cross-purposes to the times."It is often said that the novel, contemporary fiction, should reflect the time in which it is written, should rather be like the time, that the fast-paced novel, the information-rich novel, the post-modern novel in which everything goes, everything is, is more relevant, more necessary. I submit that a novel like Slow Homecoming, out of time, quiet, slow, and yet not old fashioned, is necessary for giving us the experiences of what is--or at least what might be--lost in the rush forward.