A WRITER'S WIT
My Book World
This barely three-hundred-page novel contains a cast of thirty-five characters and spans nearly fifty years of American life from the 1970s until President Obama’s first term in office. At times, one must check back at the beginning to see who is whom. But for the most part, Porter does a remarkable job of refreshing the reader’s memory when the time comes. Even more remarkable, she paints a picture of our country as it really is: a world inhabited by white and black people who intermarry, have children, some of whom belong to the LGBTQ community. Is it all love and roses as our hippy friends of the seventies (including me) had hoped our future would be? Not by a long shot. The life she unearths is as messy as an all-white or an all-black one, but it is a life that is also marked with joys and trials of raising children, finding one’s own place in the world. This is a novel of high and low culture, one in which Stoppard’s play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, becomes a major motif throughout the book, but a work in which current argot makes a place for itself without being annoying. It is a novel that requires the reader to put the nonlinear pieces together, a novel for now and always.
NEXT TIME: My Journey of States-50 Oregon