Wednesday, September 10, 2008
book talk with the regular guy
Kent Haruf and Ernesto Quinonez are authors so good you could eat their books with hot fudge and whipped cream.
Last spring, my wife went to a reading of Ernesto's, and then read 'Bodega Dreams'. I finished it Sunday--holy cats, what storytelling. He grew up in Spanish Harlem and was a teacher, and the book follows kids who are gang bangers and kids who study and want to move up, and you realize that it is like reading The Great Gatsby, where Jay Gatz wants to be something much bigger and better, for himself and his object of affection. 4 weeks ago me and the missus were eating pastries and coffee at a bakery, and we talked with Ernesto, because he lives around here, and next time I see him I can rave about his book like an idiot.
Kent Haruf wrote Plainsong and now Eventide about people in a small ranch town. It makes you cry the way he tells of good people and the bad and the noble and the luckless. So I was up late finishing Eventide, and the ending has some happy spots, but is mostly pretty darn sad......
Regular guy lucked out--2 books this weekend, both perfect tens.