I’m over at the Huffington Post with a review of Justin Torres’ debut fiction, We the Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2011). It is a gem of a book. Here’s an excerpt (below). You can read the entire review here.
We the Animals will surely find a cozy home among the burgeoning shelves of coming-of-age stories. That would be a travesty. It is no more a coming-of-age story than Jamaica Kinkaid’s My Brother is a meditation on siblings or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is simply the story of a journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape. These are books that get to the heart of our relationships to one another, particularly those to whom we are bound by blood. Torres gives us the crux: the way we gather our frailties with tenderness like wildflowers picked in a thorny field through which we walk barefoot, the way we ribbon those bouquets with impossible cruelties and gift them to one another. The way we each consent to take and take.