This is a novel by a young gay American writer that should reach a large audience, partly because it reverses cliches and preconceptions and partly because it places the experience of its one lesbian and two gay male characters in a larger family context. If gay fiction occasionally seems narrow to heterosexual (or even many homosexual) readers, the narrowness can be attributed sometimes to a tone of special pleading and at other times to a preoccupation with sex. Again, many of the most famous earlier gay novels – those by Jean Genet or William Burroughs or John Rechy, for in stance – create a fantastic level of irreality and an approach to the reader designed to turn him or her into a voyeur. This sense of voyeurism is intensified by the presumed class differences between the respectable reader and the louche characters.
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The minimalist Fumio Sasaki 'confesses that as he began to purchase fewer consumer goods, his meals shrank in size. He decluttered and lost weight. Accumulation is not just an economic way of life but a form of embodiment too. Enlightenment is reduction.'
'The river’s desecration mirrors Colombia’s long history of violence: "for years we treated it like a sewer," says Ahmed, a survivor of a particularly brutal paramilitary massacre, "just like we treated each other".'
Patrick Wilcken on the Magdalena.
It's 'all lively and entertaining but rather too black and white. Her account of British politics and the success of the Brexit campaign verges on the cartoonish.'
@David_Goodhart on Anne Applebaum's 'Twilight on Democracy'.