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Monday, October 6, 2008

How to Read Fiction In An Election Year

posted by on October 6 at 14:00 PM


This week’s Constant Reader is about how lots of people—myself included—have a hard time reading fiction in an election year.

It can be difficult to read fiction during the autumn of an election year. In 2004, the last time the election was the most important in American history, fiction sales fell drastically in at least one major Seattle bookstore as sales of political books soared. It’s hard to entertain flights of fancy when images of neocon-inspired apocalyptic death are dancing in your head. But only reading books about the election between now and November is a surefire way to wind up in the booby hatch. The solution, then, must be to read fiction about politics.

I review two books with American in the title—American Savior, about Jesus running for president, and American Wife, about a very thinly veiled Laura Bush analogue and her relationship with her husband—and really like one and really hate the other.

I also manage to get in a plug for a book that I read for the first time when I was 16 and still totally adore to this very day, Only Begotten Daughter, by James Morrow. It’s a sci-fi novel about God’s only daughter, who was born to the Virgin Murray. Give it a read, won’t you?

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