Saturday, June 8, 2013

in the midst of all their shortcoming

When I hear myself praising a book these days, the things I seem to be really appreciating is a fearlessness when it comes to compassion and sincerity, as well as a willingness to examine questions of faith (and by that I neither mean, not exclude, questions of religion.) In other words, I have reached an age where I am no longer at all impressed with the snide, the cold, the condescending, unless it is paired or mitigated by the opposite, the hopeful in the face of all odds, the reaching after the ineffable, the love. My favorite book this year so far is George Saunder’s The Tenth of December, because for all its razor sharp social commentary, for all the ways he shows us to ourselves with a devastatingly relentless and honest eye, he brings this wave of compassion and love behind that critique. No characters seem more in need of love than the characters in The Tenth of December, and he loves them unconditionally, in the midst of all their shortcoming, all their flaws. Pam Houston in Tracking Wonder


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