Tuesday, November 04, 2008

For the Polling Lines, A Novel About a Coup


If you haven't voted yet, please do. As long lines and lengthy waits are the norm this year, I recommend you bring a book. In fact, I recommend you bring Blood Kin, by Ceridwen Dovey, a beautiful, sensual novel about a coup in a nameless country. Narrated by several nameless characters, including the deposed president's cook, his barber, and his portraitist, the novel covers the dizzying, ambiguous early days of the new regime. These three characters seem innocent, but we learn that this might not be so.

I read this a few days ago, and was floored by its lush, descriptive language, its effortless sexiness, and the subtle turns of plot. It's a fairly short novel, and if you're voting in Virginia or another hotly contested state, you might be able to finish it in the line. Plus, I think it's fitting that when we are peacefully changing governments, we read about the alternative.

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