Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Literary Tour of America, in All Its Manifestations

I recently read Gish Jen’s Typical American, a book about a Chinese immigrant in the mid-twentieth century. It came on the heels of Richard Russo’s The Bridge of Sighs in my reading list. Never mind the Italian reference, the book depicts the small town New England Russo has been doing so well for so long.

And then Delmore Schwatz’s poem “America, America!” And then this morning I finished David Wong Louie’s The Barbarians are Coming, another Chinese immigrant story. A workshop mate at Tomales Bay tipped me off to Louie, and I am thankful for his recommendation, and our conversations that week.

Next up is What You Have Left by Will Allison. The story is set in America, but I don't think it will deal with America as a subject. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've never been mentioned in a blog before (at least I don't think I have). I think I see myself here. I am not Howard Norman, who led the Tomales Bay workshop that you were in. I was the only other man (you are "thankful for *his* recommendation"), and I often say David Wong Louie's name to people who read, so there we are.

I enjoyed our talks, too. I'm glad I stumbled across your blog.