On “A Thousand Splendid Suns”

1. I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini this week. Each review on the back of the book tries to capture the book in a theme or two. USA Today calls it a novel about “the dimmest rays of hope,” the Los Angeles Times says it’s about “the intimacy of family and village … Continue reading On “A Thousand Splendid Suns”

Literary Perspectives on American Racial Inequality

An issue that consistently escapes my understanding is the complexity of racial disparity in the United States. The knowledge that the life expectancy in some low-income African American communities is lesser than parts of rural Algeria is a bit irreconcilable with my image of the U.S. as the world’s most powerful and free nation (questionable … Continue reading Literary Perspectives on American Racial Inequality

On “East of Eden”

"The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay. I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer—and what trees and seasons smelled like—how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich."