Monday, May 14, 2007

Congratulations Brian Yansky

An early, early review for Brian Yansky's Wonders of the World just came in from Kirkus. Among other things, they dig his "meaningfully spare first-person voice" and the way Brian "deftly and subtly portrays Eric's slow acknowledgement of the truth about his father, and provides an ending that, while still bleak, is livable." So true.

Brian's writing has a unique sort of magic. The reviewer calls it "a touch of magical realism" but I think it's actually his eye for the sublime and the subversive amongst the overlooked that makes his writing stand out. If you read the book, then the irony of the title will be fairly apparent to you (if the cover doesn't give it away), but I can't help but think there's an unironic aspect of wonder in the book too. Author Alison McGhee called teenagers "magical beings" in a recent talk, and I think Yansky captures some of that magic in the way he creates a teenage character with an enormous capacity for hope and imagination in a world where cruelty and despair are the adult norms. It's a wonder.

1 comment:

Brian Mandabach said...

Yay, Bri! I gotta yet your book.