- Charis in the World of Wonders 2020
- The Book of the Red King 2019
- Maze of Blood 2015
- Glimmerglass 2014
- Thaliad 2012
- The Foliate Head 2012
- A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage 2012
- The Throne of Psyche 2011
- Val/Orson 2009
- Ingledove 2005
- Claire 2003
- The Curse of the Raven Mocker 2003
- The Wolf Pit 2001
- Catherwood 1996
- Little Jordan 1995
- Short stories and poems
- Honors, praise, etc.
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Saturday, December 21, 2013
Books and boys--
Anyway, sons are on my mind because immediately they got in my way of reading On Beauty. Because even though I am a writer and two of my three children like to write very much, I read the opening letter with some astonishment because I cannot picture a son in our age who would write a long, news-filled, descriptive letter to his parent, no matter what the motivation. Why? First, young men tend to be uninformative compared to young women. Second, my sons would never write a letter of that kind, even though they are the children of over-educated parents. They call, they text, and they will sometimes answer a facebook note. Let us say rarely. Third, they just don't see a longish, descriptive letter as a viable mode of communication. My daughter, in contrast, will write back and forth on facebook with me for a long time. But even she wouldn't choose to write that sort of long, organized letter. Fourth, that business of the descriptive language? Detailed description? Boys and young men don't do a lot of that sort of thing. I would have to use surgical tweezers to get those words out of my sons' mouths. Fifth, when I make it to the second letter I can't believe any young man would say that bit about the kissing the little bit of skin visible on the be-hooded brother Levi's face. That's a woman talking!
Now what does all this mean? Does it say something about On Beauty as a whole? Does it say something about Zadie Smith? I don't really know because I'm not far enough, and I need to do laundry and collapse into bed.
But what it really does mean for sure is that, yes, there is no such thing as realism. This patently odd young man can go on writing long, lovely letters because he is a made-up creature, and whatever he chooses to do, no matter how fantastic, is right. I may well decide that he convinces me, despite his utter unlikeness to the usual run of boys, once again because of there being no such thing as realism. In this little bubble world, he may make sense, and his way of seeing the world convince me. Time, as is its wont, will tell me. And now, dear reader, I am falling over with sleepiness and have just put the second load in the dryer. Good night!