Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 10:56 am
"Ugh," my sister exclaimed one evening as we were making dinner. It was supposed to be an easy poached chicken with a ginger-scallion sauce, eaten with cold cucumber wedges, and we had just discovered that what we had bought at the store was not cucumber, but zucchini. It was an easy mistake to make — they were the precise same shade of green. But where the zucchini's skin was mostly smooth, the cucumber's was lumpy. We were not happy.
Too much is made of literature's ennobling qualities. There are those of us who come to books for the debasement and danger, for Hannibal and Humbert. For Faulkner's Popeye and Hedda Gabler. We want to meet the monsters.
The title of Zadie Smith's newest novel might be enigmatic for Americans.NWis short for northwest London — an area of particular racial and class diversity. It's the birthplace of the novel's two main characters, Leah Hanwell and Keisha Blake.
John Hillcoat's Lawless opens with a scene in which two farm boys urge their younger brother to pull the trigger on a pig that's ready to be transformed into bacon. The boy, whose name is Jack, hesitates and then misfires; one of the older boys finishes the job, neatly and dispassionately.