The story Nick Drnaso tells about the inexplicable violence perpetrated by a young man, filmed, uploaded, and then devoured on social media by the masses, kept me up at night. Even in the wordless frames, I sometimes wanted to cover my eyes or look away. Essential reading for our times.
I recently emailed Patricia Lockwood to ask her a favor even though we do not know each other. That’s the kind of intimacy this excellent memoir about Patricia’s life, and family, fosters in its reader. I wouldn’t just bring this book to the desert island, I’d beg Patricia to shipwreck there with me.
“To be melancholy is to be self-haunted, and among the many reasons this is an unsatisfactory explanation for living inside a jam jar inside an aquarium, foremost among them is that there are no good stories to tell of your bleak time in a beautiful place, and no specter to blame for the fact that happiness, though it should have been inescapable, evaded you.” I want that quote chiseled onto my gravestone.
I am not a cool person, and this book — daring and smart, with a protagonist so original and fierce — confirmed the above statement in spades. Please read if interested in any or all: motorcycles, New York City in the 1970s, artists, radicals, revolutionaries.
In my life, there is the time before White Teeth, and the time after White Teeth. Zadie Smith’s writing changed my view of the world, and no offense to Patricia Lockwood, but I would like to ask Zadie to come to the desert island too.