I, as a reader and writer, as well as a citizen interested in social progress, was impressed, almost always, by Baldwin’s determination to bring eloquence, compassion, and wisdom to the hostilities and hopes he perceived, beyond the controversies of lasting conflicts—but I noted, as did others, that, with time’s passage, his disappointments inspired him to a brutal bluntness that could be read as bitterness.
Grisham employs several new strategies that constitute his most meaningful strides towards lessening prejudice against women and giving them a strong status in the legal field as is true nowadays in attempting to create a strong novel with a strong heroine: nearly no objectification towards women, objectification of men, and verbalized desire to change their status quo and lessen objectification.
These are close and moving readings that provide depth and personal insight into the narrative framework, the themes that pivot around mental illness and hunger, and the characters that become Wright’s partners through her own recovery. It’s not a facile recovery though. The memory of hunger is almost as acute as the hunger itself.
In England, writer Zadie Smith and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and rock singer Kele of Bloc Party have made their own giant splashes, as had the androgynous singer Ephraim Lewis, before he died; and Ejiofor played a cross-dressing designer in Kinky Boots, and Kele is gay and alludes to that experience in his songs.
Although the price is rather steep, even for a textbook, this isn’t a book you can just read through, put back on the shelf and forget. For those that want an insight, both as reader, and perhaps more valuably, as writer, into the techniques of poetry in general, and those specific to the giants of poetry that make up the ultra-influential modernist movement, this is a book that can be returned to regularly. It is well structured, well researched, clearly written, and full of innovative insights.
Any reader could multiply critical strictures, but this short book is in the Joycean’s path, may not be avoided, is constantly entertaining, and in many ways as enlightening as the more considered pronouncements of more conservative critics. Reviewed by Bob…