My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read it white, didn’t I? I could have read in Georgia, where I grew up—on the front porch of this colonial-style home. I could have leaned against the iron gate than surrounded that neighborhood, reading it. And it bothers me, how quiet I must look when I read.
So picture history. Picture books stacked like bricks around the affluent neighborhoods in Georgia. Picture ‘at yo service’ cookie jars and reels of documentary footage on the editor’s floor. Picture them opening all the windows at the local high school because they’re painting over the graffiti again. During summer, the smart kids talk about reverse discrimination at the Taco Bell. And every child knows the dates of the civil war.
So here we are with this book in our hands. It’s a kind of fiction, isn’t it? With characters made of whatever shrapnel Morrison could find. With twisted iron for a spine. With holes in it, large holes, where the names should be.
So this book, we believe it and don’t believe it at the same time. We read it like we read a dream, interpreting it when we can, failing to interpret it when someone finds a little girl’s ribbon.
And the streams of consciousness are laborious, aren’t they? Characters fall over their own thoughts, tripping up on stones that resemble other stones, trying to assure themselves this is the way and there was never any other way. Not even symbolism could save them. Not even the sound of one science smashing into another.