Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Onto the to-read list

The Book of Night Women, the new novel by Marlon James, has been receiving raves all around. Sometimes I hear about a wonderful young writer and I make a note of my urgent need to read her/his work--Marlon James' previous book, John Crow's Devil, has been on my to-read list for some time--yet somehow amid all the detritus clogging my ancient brain the writer and the work fall off my radar screen. I'm sorry that seems to have happened with Mr. James. It won't happen twice. I must read this novel, and soon.

If I'm not mistaken, it takes place around the time of the uprisings of the Maroons, the enslaved Africans of Jamaica. There is some vital history there, little known in this country, so I'm excited to see what role, if any, it has in this by all accounts stunning novel.

UPDATE: I'm in it now, and it's un-put-downable. Some evidence in my blog posts aside, I don't like being a contrarian and it's a grand relief when a book lives up to the hype. Except that now it's making me nuts that I have to work for a wage for the next eight hours instead of stay inside this book.