if you liked american beauty here is something equally appealing in print. this is the type of novel that oprah couldn’t get enough of to keep her book club going. oh thats right, franzen preferred not being included in her club in the first place… from the author: he began a sentence: “i am–” but when he was taken by surprise, every sentence became an adventure in the woods … the grownup al, watched in oddly impersonal suspense to see if the panic-stricken little boy might, despite no longer knowing where he was or at what point he’d entered the woods of this sentence, still manage to blunder into the clearing where enid was waiting for him, unaware of any woods– “packing my suitcase,” he heard himself say. this sounded right. verb, possessive, noun. here was a suitcase in front of him, an important confirmation. he’d betrayed nothing.
previous: April 2002
i usually don’t like to read two books by the same author so close together but of all the paperbacks on my bookshelf before going to guatemala haley had the two i was most interested in. of the two books i’m glad i read roots second otherwise i might have agreed more with malcolm x that the white man could be the devil. the first one hundred and sixty five pages of the paperback i read described kunta kinte’s life in africa before being captured. i read about his trip to america aboard a slave ship at the same time we flying back to the states and while in no way were the two trips similar, that difference accentuated the impression this story had on me. from the author: kunta dissolved into sobs, his mind streaming with pictures of his family around a flapping white cockerel that died on its back as the village wadanela went to spread that sad news among all of the people who would then come to omoro, binta, lamin, suwadu, and the baby madi, all of them squatting about and weeping as the village drums beat out the words to inform whoever might hear them far away that a son of the village named kunta kinte now was considered gone forever.