…is a good way to describe the narrative effort of my current project: the recollections (fictional) of an escaped slave in Henry David Thoreau’s company. There are some wonderfully uncommon words here—words I know I’ve never spoken out loud like phenakistoscope and phalanstery— as well as the characters of Emerson, Hawthorne and a sprinkling of other Transcendentalists. As an erstwhile English major, I say 👍🏼.
That was the word in the text, described also as “a raspberry.” A conundrum: how to pronounce it?
A good book tells many tales, some of them so small you don’t immediately notice the weight they carry. To wit, this incidental scene from Curtis Wilkie’s Dixie, in which Robert Kennedy stops unannounced in the all-black township of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and makes a human connection.
Read more comix
If you’re looking for something that speaks deeply with utmost simplicity, I happily recommend From Lone Mountain, the latest collection of the work of John Porcellino. Full disclosure: once upon a time, he & I took a little road trip to Kansas. Read about that here.
Her kid’s off to college and …
One of the good reads I read last year was Tom Perrotta’s coming-of-age(s) tale Mrs. Fletcher. If you’re an NLS patron, you’ll find it here.
In brief: a single mother takes her son off to college. He flexes his teenage masculinity (ewww …). She explores the freedoms in her newly empty nest (hmmm …). One year later, they’re not quite the same characters they were before.
This hat could write a book
I can’t wear it in public, for fear that folks would wrongly salute these epaulets. But I do admire bold marketing, and this ugly thing has certainly got that going for it.