two quick takes:
SUMMER OF HATE has the kind of honesty i like. one with a thin sheen of fiction and, on occasion, a thick glob of style (but this mostly subtle, a french exit or a tasteful gesture). mannered yet truthful. paced here with a good and slow buildup but not quite manipulatively suspenseful. an effective documentary-ish presentation re: class, race, and cultural capital… and, reading it in january 2017, the appalling realization the bush II years were a restrained preview and not the nadir. dug this book.
emo like duras is emo. grieving, brave, and deracinating, i found FISH IN EXILE unafraid to wear emotion on its sleeve. and yet sui generis; made with a charged, defamiliarized language… making the old (classic) story somehow all her own (the persephone retell a favorite bit), the book has a little of karapanou or lispector in its ability to poetically sear to the heart of the matter — but clears its own ground. loved it.