Monday, December 28, 2009

All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones


I'm reading All Aunt Hagar's Children, Edward P. Jones' second short story collection. It's good, depressing, dense, etc. The DC stuff amazes me, this whole rich novelistic life of the streets. He's got a particularly crushing line in the story "Root Worker" about my high school:

"Long before they reached 1st, N.E., Glynnis found that so much had changed, disappeared, but everything that was important to white people remained. Gonzaga High School. The railroad. After 1st Street, she saw that many of the places she had known as a girl were still standing, and that gave her heart some relief."

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest


The final installment, not out in America until May. I broke down and bought it from Amazon UK. Fully worthy part three, inconceivable to me that he could sustain it over three length novels. This one concerns a shadowy government organization, sort of intelligence-ish, that runs foreign spies who've sought asylum in Sweden. More soon. Let's hope Hollywood doesn't t fuck up the movies.

Winter's Bone


Daniel Woodrell sure can write a sentence. He manages, in Winter's Bone, not only to come up with a convincing, emotionally-taut plot, but his lean, beautiful prose makes the entire journey through the Ozark white-trash countryside a wonder. His protagonist, 16 year old Rees Dolly, searches for her missing father, who has defaulted on a jail bond, unwittingly putting the house at risk for repossession where Rees lives in with her demented mother and two younger brothers. Rees is a supergirl, taking care of her charges tenderly and completely, teaching her younger brothers to shoot a gun in the fear that they will need the skill much sooner than later. Her relatives, a sprawling, vicious, secretive and ancient Ozarks clan, threaten her, succor her, and ultimately confound her in her search.