I saw a new release recently, and read a sample of the first few pages. I was strangely drawn to it. Though perhaps it’s not so strange, since it’s by an (apparently, judging by the awards and reviews I’ve read) super well-respected author, Chang-rae Lee. His sentences flow on and on like a river looking for the ocean, not in a particular hurry, because the destination is ultimately known and once there everything will simply begin again anyway. That sentence was my (paltry) attempt at recreating the mood and style he infuses into every word.
It’s a lot of imagery, and metaphorical language that somehow is also clear cut and precise. Even when it seems like the story is meandering, you don’t abandon it, and are rewarded with the moment when it all pieces together gently, knowingly, and you’re brought in on the secret.
Basically it’s a lot of what I don’t usually read. Literary fiction can often tire or bore me even when I love aspects of it in other ways. It’s a rare sampling for me. But Chang-rae Lee went to school at PEA, and I almost went to school there, and I find that interesting enough to pursue finding his book My Year Abroad from the library and giving it a go. I’m about 15% of the way in right now, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what the plot of the story is or where it’s heading, and I’m planning on just moseying on through and letting his words carry me wherever we end up going.