Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
The rest is history, they say. Bullshit, I say. It's imagination or it's nothing, and must be, because what is created in this world, or made, can be undone, unmade; the threads of a rope can be unwoven. And if that rope is needed as a guideline for a ferry to a farther shore, then one must invent a way to weave it back, or there will be drownings in the streams that cross our paths. I accept now, though in truth it took some time, that must must be its own permission.
This sort of consciousness, a voice searching for moral reason and ethical sense and metaphysical reassurance, is dense on every single page of the novel. And at the same time, constantly present in his prose, beautiful, vivid, haunting concrete physical description of two worlds -- Iraq, and rural southern Virginia -- that never ever meet and yet somehow, in Power's vision, are fused, confused, refused, and unresolved.