Read-Before-Recycle List, Nos. 13-15 (The New Yorker & Harper’s)

13.  Lethem, Jonathan (2009, October 26)  Procedure in Plain Air  The New  Yorker (Fiction) Note: When I read these various stories late at night I sometimes make brutal scribbles on the page, in the white area between title and illustration. I see that late last night, after reading this story, I wrote "a stupid story" in that space. I'm not sure it was actually stupid. I mean, it was well written. It may be that it was too hip for someone from the pinewoods to "get." Or maybe "getting" is not the point. <sigh> Anyway. I feel now like I have branded myself once and forever as a rube who lives very far away from Manhattan (a place I love and consider one of the most magical spots on earth). Read it, okay? Tell me where I went wrong.

14.    Bolaño, Roberto (2010, April)  The Return Harper's Magazine Note: One of the time-consuming, and yet fabulous, aspects of this crazy read-before-recycle quest I'm on is that many of these authors compel me to learn more about them. Sadly, this Chilean author is dead. His story is phenomenally creeping and a great, creative read. It is translated from Spanish by Chris Andrews.  I won't spoil the story for you in case you decide to read it.  How's this for a first line?

"I have good news and bad news. The good news is that there is life (after a kind) after this life. The bad news is that Jean-Claude Villaneuve is a necrophiliac."

15. Tisdale, Sally (2010, April) On Spectrum: My daughter, her autism, our life  Harper's Magazine  Memoir  Note: Stark-staring honest, with respect for truth and her grown daughter. Most memorable quote: 

"No one starts a family believing that a child will cause bankruptcy and illness. No one expects heartbreak; we are psychically protected against such fears, bound in a tight biological web to hope for the best with every child."



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