September 2004

I'm updating early because I'm sick in bed and don't want to work on my novel right now. So there's not too much to report. Highlight was the Roth, I guess. If the paranoid panic it inspired can be described as a highlight. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth As someone who honestly believes that it's entirely possible that the entire American nation could rise up and put the Jews in concentration camps (Really, I do. Witness the Japanese internment camps. Witness the rhetoric surrounding AIDS. Witness the anti-semitism in Europe), this novel had me up half the night. I was basically packing my family's suitcases. It's a chilling novel, marvelous although not perfect. He's a brilliant writer, but even the geniuses among us could use the benefit of some editorial guidance. The Little Girls by Elizabeth Bowen Dated but languidly lovely. Like Life by Lorrie Moore Lorrie Moore is an inspiration to me. I begin my work day by reading one of her short stories. Her prose is pitch-perfect. Funny, tragic. Beautiful. The Town That Forgot How to Breathe by Kenneth J. Harvey This book was, I don't know. Weird, I guess. I sort of liked it. I wanted it to like it. I did. I did like it. I really did. Why didn't I pick it up and read it with more excitement?

Father's Day by Philip Galanas Philip and I used to work together at a big fancy-pants law firm in New York. I love that we both abandoned the world of billable hours for lounging in our pjs and writing all day! This is a great read.

The Good People of New York by Thisbe Nissen She's a really good writer, Ms. Nissen, but I just wanted to stick with the first point of view character. Dream of the Blue Room by Michelle Richmond MacAdam Cage makes such gorgeous books, and Michelle is a lovely woman. I enjoyed this book tremendously, although I feel pretty desperate about the environmental situation in China. Man it's a hellish nightmare there now. The Position by Meg Wolitzer I like Meg Wolitzer a lot, and I liked this book very much. I feel a certain kinship with her as a writer, although maybe that's presumptuous of me.

Graceland by Chris Abani I finished this book feeling so completely hopeless about Nigeria. I'm overwhelmed with admiration for Abani, who not only survived incredible travails, but manages to have such a sense of humor.