Monday, October 01, 2007

certain writers produce Brooklyn Books of Wonder. Take mawkish self-indulgence, add a heavy dollop of creamy nostalgia, season with magic realism, stir in a complacency of faith, and you’ve got wondrousness. The only thing that’s more wondrous than the BBoW narratives themselves is the vanity of the authors who deliver their epistles from Fort Greene with mock-naïve astonishment, as if saying: “I can’t really believe I’m writing this. And it’s such an honor that you’re reading it.” Actually, they’re as vain and mercenary as anyone else, but they mask these less endearing traits under the smiley façade of an illusory Eden they’ve recreated in the low-rise borough across the water from corrupt Manhattan.

Before entering into the passage through wonder, it’s vital to point out that although Flatbush or Cobble or Boerum Hill or Red Hook is the pond into the center of which the pebble drops, the ripples spread. Michael Chabon in the San Francisco Bay Area is both example and slightly elder statesman of wonder. Sue Monk Kidd brings wonder to the rural south, and Alice Sebold finds wonder in heaven above. Benjamin Kunkel even imports it to Manhattan. Brooklyn is a psychic rather than a geographic designation.

Wonder Bread
Come with us to a place called Brooklyn,where the stories are half-baked and their endings bland and soft
By Melvin Jules Bukiet

a lot of it's mean, but is there a point here?
Like many YA novels, which are constructed for a pedagogical market, the BBoWs insist on finding a therapeutic lesson in their dark material.

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