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Laila Lalami on Poverty

One of my favorite litbloggers, Laila Lalami (MoorishGirl.com) has a very thoughtful essay at Powells.com on contemporary fiction's role (or abdication thereof) in addressing the issue of poverty. Bravo, bravo.

Poverty has receded from the list of popular themes of the American novel. No longer do we have a John Steinbeck, a Richard Wright, a Theodore Dreiser, or a Zora Neale Hurston writing about the working poor. Who today would write that "In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage"?

Laila's debut, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (excerpt here) is rapidly moving up my wish list.

October 5, 2005 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink