Tuesday, May 20, 2008

For your reading pleasure

I recommend Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policeman's Union. It's always a delight to find a previously unread author with a back catalog to devour. The last time I was this taken with a read was when I read Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Chabon is a master of prose. Never mind the fact that the book's written in present tense. Quite beside the fact that you'll stop noticing that you're reading present tense after about the first chapter, it serves a purpose. (The POV character is severed from his past and is pointedly neglecting his future--to tell this story nearly requires that it be always living only in the immediate moment). The plot is beautiful, the characters vivid, and this Sitka-that-never-was is alive in a way that makes me wish that the U.S. had given part of Alaska to the Jews in 1940 after all . . .

What I did not expect to find in so secular an author and his vulgarity riddled book was an extended meditation on the nature of faith and the desire for home. And not just an earthly home, but a spiritual one . . . and how much of that can we have here on earth anyway? And what does our salvation look like? And how much of our own salvation can we create for ourselves? What is this thing we call faith really made up of?

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Hey, you won the Flimsy round of Apples to Apples for plastic slinkys.

Your turn now!