Monday, June 05, 2006

The BEST. . .

The New York Times Book Review queried prominent authors, editors and critics and came up with what they call the "Best Work of American Fiction." This is Toni Morrison's Beloved, a book I read in college and liked very much. Hell, I wrote my honors thesis on the birth and water imagery that I pulled from the book. When I read my college writing now I both cringe and feel happy that I was exposed to a lot of authors I would never have found on my own. In any case, there are a lot of authors mentioned in this list of best, but only one other woman received multiple votes. That was Marilynne Robinson for Housekeeping. My library doesn't own it but I have ordered it from another library. I'm intrigued. I would have voted for Louise Erdrich.

When we hosted Chris Bojhalian this past March at the library a bunch of us went out for drinks with him after his talk. I felt so badly read when I heard people talking about various writers I had heard of (or not) but had never read. This doesn't demean my role as a children's librarian. There is lots of good stuff out there for kids. We see more and more picture books for older readers, and then there are the graphic novels. I love Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis series about her childhood in Iran, and Craig Thompson's Blankets.

Saying something is the BEST is problematic for me. I will always feel like my mom's blueberry muffins are the BEST, and I have several friends that I feel are the BEST. My car right now is the BEST, but someday something will replace it. Of course, the WORST is also pretty petty. I have the WORST haircut right now, and my weight is not the WORST it has been at, but it feels that way. Others will say I look fine. My WORST nightmare is being accosted by extremely religious people, like the overt young man who wore the "He Died For You" t-shirt into the library today and told me how he liked reading fantasy and he was being shipped out on the 15th for military training. I felt like telling him that he needn't die for me too, that he may be making the WORST decision of his life, other than the WORST fashion faux pas by wearing the shirt that I found most offensive. But then, am I the WORST hypocrite and religious oppressor by being intolerant of other's beliefs?

I love it when L tells me that I am the BEST. I know he is sincere. That I can count on.


CBK said...

Awesome post!

Did your boy John Irving get any love in that poll?

Herself said...

He was on the master list, but did not get numerous votes.