Sunday, January 4, 2015

WE NEED NEW NAMES by NoViolet Bulawayo, US by David Nicholls, BAD FEMINIST by Roxane Gay

WE NEED NEW NAMES by NoViolet Bulawayo
Is there a handy moniker for the American immigrant coming of age novel? Maybe just the New American Novel. This one, which begins in Zimbabwe and ends in Michigan, is gorgeous. Rich, loose, nimble language; a spot-on portrait of what it feels like to be a kid—anywhere; and a keen look at what is lost and what is gained by signing up for the American Dream.

US by David Nicholls
The uncoupling of a marriage meets the European romp. Frothy, fun, some good laugh lines, wants to be poignant, but pretty superficial. Not as good as his One Day.

BAD FEMINIST by Roxane Gay
Awww... I wanted to love this collection. Gay is personable, and I'm with her in the opinion department. I'd like to have coffee with her and shoot the breeze. But I didn't find much that was new or revelatory in these essays, and the writing was ordinary. I'm sorry.