Thursday, February 19, 2015
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven. This is a pretty solid example of the post-apocalyptic genre. I think it's always interesting to imagine living in the ruins of civilization. It is also a lovely novel in its own right, a little dreamy story spooling out in a satisfying sequence. I like books that scoff at probability; where every person who ever happens to interact is connected by some far-fetched set of circumstances. Probably brain damage caused by too much Dickens in childhood.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah. Ifemelu, the protagonist is sharp as sharp, funny. An article on The Toast compared it to Pride and Prejudice; I wouldn't make that comparison, but then, her dry observation of academic liberal social interactions made me cringe as much as a genteel regular ball-goer of Regency England would wince at Austen's observations. At any rate, it's a love story and illumination of the experience of race in America as a Black immigrant. But it's Ifemelu and her dryly cutting, hopeful, amused voice that's engrossing and impossible to forget.