florafloraflora (florafloraflora) wrote,
florafloraflora
florafloraflora

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Two stories, good and bad

First the bad: when I read this story in the last issue of the New Yorker, it struck me as more of the same stuff I've disliked before from Joyce Carol Oates: exploitive, maudlin family drama with some lurid violence thrown in, and in this case a serious off note in the ethnic background. Then in this issue I read a letter from someone in New Jersey who says the story is identical to a real tragedy that was in the news there recently, except that the kid was Italian-American and not Latino. I think that puts an end to any time I might have had for Joyce Carol Oates, and it never was much to begin with.

Then there's the good: This story is an awesome new entry in one of my favorite genres, something I call "White Folks Get Down in the Tropics". Think Graham Greene, Apocalypse Now, and Out of Africa. I've been meaning to read Aleksandar Hemon for a while now. This was a good way to start.
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