Summer has clearly arrived: I finished Colson Whitehead’s book The Underground Railroad in just a few days. It’s a remarkable read, a painful and beautiful homage to America’s enslaved people. I had little knowledge of the book when I started it and was floored by the elements of magical realism it contains. I wondered how many people didn’t realize such fantastic elements (ie, rooted in fantasy) were just that, and who thought, for example, that there truly was a railroad whose actual tracks lay in tunnels under our nation. In any case, the railroad’s physical existence in the book is a stunning metaphor-made-real. I really loved this book.
I’m reading Chris Bohjalian’s Midwives, a twenty-year old novel about a midwife who resorts to an emergency C-section that leaves a patient dead and puts her at the mercy of the law. The book dives right into the ways in which the ob-gyn medical establishment marginalized midwives. Such a situation is laden with sex and gender overtones. I am digging it thus far.
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