Hey there’s a big book that a ton of people bought that wasn’t about vampires and wasn’t about a boy wizard and a ton of critics actually really loved it…so let’s just ignore it! Seriously, whatever one thinks about Franzen this is fucking stupid. Just nominate the fucking book. You don’t have to give it the award, but nominate it. It might make people outside of book nerds interested in your precious award ceremony thing.
Every Man in This Village is a Liar is a good account of the years 2001-2007 in America’s militarized relation to parts of ‘the Muslim world’. Stack was a reporter in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt, and reported from neighboring countries; this book is memoir-like reportage which was, I guess, collected/rewritten at some distance. There’s too much of the cliche-out-of-breath – ” […] and the first whiff of civil war was rising from the land.”, p.96-7; there’s writing like this throughout the book – , but the cumulative effect of Stack’s storytelling is quite strong. If you read the “epilogue” first, I think you’ll be both dismayed by what she says and inspired to read her account of those years. Here’s the epigraph:
There is nothing farther away from Washington than the entire world.
We – you and I, if you’re an American – are paying dearly and will pay more dearly still for the disastrously stupid and corrupt matrix of policy and action that Stack was embedded in; we should be less far away, collectively, than most of us are from this part of “the entire world”.