Saturday, January 21, 2012

Three Forays Into Other Realities

If you are in need of an absorbing read:

1. Things Fall Apart (1958) - Chinua Achebe
2. Nine Stories (1953) - J. D. Salinger
3. Franny & Zooey (1961) - J. D. Salinger (comprises two short stories that originally appeared in The New Yorker in 1955 and 1957)

Without realizing it, I've been gravitating toward mid-20th century writing for good reading. I like how these books were written then, because they were so ahead of their time. It's comforting to think of these authors sitting down and independently putting these not-mainstream or just offbeat ideas to record in their own eloquent ways, because usually when I think of the 50s, I picture something different. It just makes you realize how important it is to convey your vision if you have one; think of what is lost if not shared.

I know it's classic for the young-adult set to say they love Salinger, but maybe there's a good reason for it that's worth exploring! The Glass family stories across the two books are, to me, arresting, and as a stand-alone short story, "Teddy" in Nine Stories is amazing. And all have a very wry sense of humor that's hard not to like.

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