I have an essay-review of Amitava Kumar’s new book A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of his Arm a Tiny Bomb over at H.O.W. Journal.
“Among the many symptoms of living in an age of a perpetual war on terrorism is amnesia. There are times we forget when it began, and for those growing up in this age, I can only imagine that it has the shopworn quality of grim permanency that those of us who came of age in the Cold War once felt. That war had no beginning, not in our lifetimes at least, and it sure felt like it never would have an end, except the most ugly, in nuclear annihilation. The fears must be different today. Instead of global extinction, the destruction children probably fear is localized and personal. A terrorist bomb will blow up their world.”
“The first time I met Papa was when he came to live with us in the spring, when things were growing. In an uncharacteristic mood of celebration, Mom planted a row of colorful flowers in the front yard along both sides of the driveway. Daisies and buttercups and even a rose bush. A week later, I was the one who found Papa peeing on the flowers. His ancient penis was gripped between his fingers, his lower lip curled over his upper. He looked like a garden gnome, except that he was out-sized and he had, strangely, a working dick.”