Favorite Quotes

"For my totem, the alley cat. We share the situation of small predators who easily become prey. I have my equivalent of claws and teeth, and indeed my arched back and loud hiss are my best defenses. When I need to hide my size and weakness, I can look fiercer than I am, but when I cannot talk or threaten or argue my way out of trouble, then I am in a lot of trouble. We are scavengers in the alleys and streets of a society we do not control and scarcely influence. We survive and perish both by taking lovers. Freedom is a daily necessity like water, and we love most loyally and longest those who allow us at least occasionally to vanish and wander the curious night. To them we always return from the eight deaths before the last."

from Braided Lives by Marge Piercy

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The Financial Lives of the Poets

Title: The Financial Lives of the Poets
By: Jess Walter

As this novel set in the financial morass of 2009 opens, Matt Prior's journalism career is in a shambles. His online venture of giving financial advice in poetry form has failed, he's discovered that his wife has been engaging in a Facebook flirtation with her high school ex, and his financial planner of 20 years has informed him that not only have his family's finances sunk to the point of "fiscal Ebola," but Matt can no longer afford a financial planner. At midnight, Matt discovers that there is no milk in the fridge for his sons’ breakfast. He throws on his slippers and heads out to the local 7-Eleven. As he exits the store, two young men strike up a casual conversation with him and ask for a ride. After first not accepting their offer to smoke some marijuana with him, he does, for the first time in 20 years. He discovers that the pot of today is not like the pot of 20 years ago. In this mentally debilitated state, and in a desperate attempt to reverse his unraveling fate, he comes up with the idea that selling marijuana might help him out of his financial crisis and perhaps help save his marriage. Let's just say, things don't go as planned for “Slippers” (the name by which his new associates know him). This is a very funny novel, maybe not quite as good as Walter's more recent "Beautiful Ruins," but a lively read with lots of insightful commentary about the times we live in.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction

Posted by Michael H. on Dec. 24, 2013 at 11:35 a.m.


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