Monday, June 11, 2012

Reading women: Mid-year update

Well, after reading Swamplandia!, Geek Love, and Mechanique, I think I'm good on circus/sideshow novels for a long time. (Of the three, I'd recommend Swamplandia! first.)

Another book of note I've read of late includes Zazen, which, yes, I did pick up at the store based on its cover, never having heard of it or its author. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves or hates hipsters, and to anyone who likes near-future sci-fi - although, really, it isn't.

I also read a pair of books that made a nice set, quite unintentionally. Almanac of the Dead takes place primarily in a variety of Arizona and Mexican locales and is in many ways a document of the effects of colonization and resistance on indigenous cultures. It's not a summer beach read. Giant, an older book, is about rich white cattle ranchers in Texas. While the locale and methods of colonial exploitation are different, Giant shows us the same forces at work in Almanac, but from the other side. (Almanac shows some rich white guys too, but they are all either drug/weapons dealers or in bed (usually literally) with them - the cattle ranchers occupy a higher notch in the social order.) Together, you can see why the descendants of the characters in Giant might want to ban writing by an author like Silko.

By the way, I had never heard of Edna Ferber, author of Giant, but she won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction back in the day.

No comments: