Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Comment: Spring & Prizes

I'm too giddy about the actual arrival of spring to write anything very serious today - how can you sit in front of the computer and engage with cultural issues when this is what you see when you step out your front door:

I will mention something in line with the general joyfulness: the Pulitzer Prizes have been announced, and the winner in fiction is a favorite of mine: Geraldine Brooks' (not to be confused with poet Gwendolyn Brooks) Civil War novel MARCH (not to be confused with E. L. Doctorow's Civil War novel of the same name, which was also nominated. Weird.) Brook's book (which I reviewed for Publishers Weekly) is a serious but accessible historical novel, which takes the absent father figure from Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN and imagines his unspoken wartime experiences, engaging him with good intentions, casual and purposeful racism, horrific violence, and the explosion of his dreamy idealism. It's a heavy one, but ultimately a satisfying narrative. It's out in paperback now, so believe the hype and give it a read.

I promise I'll be posting more on the issue of book reviewers soon -- just give me a minute to come down from my own dreamy spring fever. Hope you all are enjoying it too!