Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No news today - Guest Post - Paula Bomer

Today is a day like many other days at this time in my life – I woke early to get my sons off the tennis camp, I lost my temper with my teenager who was supposed to be fully prepared for a trip to Boston he’s making after camp, but he had no idea where his ticket was, I felt guilty and ashamed for losing my temper, I went back to bed and felt guilty and ashamed for smoking last night and having one extra vodka that was really not necessary, I stayed in bed until noon, I got up and read and wrote while drinking coffee and eating eggs, I felt very tense and jittery and afraid of having to lift weights with an ex-marine later in the day and contemplated taking an Ativan, I read and wrote some more after showering and listened to the phone messages-- so I suppose if there is nothing profoundly different about this day at all, then there really is no news.

The idea that there is no news reminds me of the book I just finished, called Marking Time. Throughout the book, the characters, whose lives are greatly disrupted by WWII, think of themselves as just marking time. This is in part because many of the characters are adolescents- between childhood and adulthood—and have very little power to do what they want to do, but are not young enough to not want to do more grown up things. So they are marking time- waiting- until they will be grown up enough to do what they want to do. But in many ways, everyone, including the adults in the book, is waiting for the war to end, so they are all marking time, waiting for the news to be good, so in that way, all the bad news isn’t news, because the only news they want, the only news that will free them from feeling as though they are marking time, is the news that the war is over. Sadly, at the end of the book, there is no news then, no news that will free these poor characters that is, no news that matters, as Japan has just bombed Pearl Harbor.

Paula Bomer is the author of the forthcoming short story collection, Baby And Other Stories (Word Riot Press, 2010). Her fiction has appeared in Open City, Fiction, The New York Tyrant, The Mississippi Review and elsewhere. She's the co-publisher at Artistically Declined Press and the supervising editor of the literary journal, Sententia. Find out more at http://www.paulabomer.com/.

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