‘The Star of the Story’ by Asali Solomon

I recently taught this long story by Asali Solomon (another former student, another friend) to my graduate class, and I marveled, as I always do, how many notes she strikes in it: deep feeling with notes of satire, the epic feel of decades passing as well as fleeting thoughts, varieties of love from the actual to the delusional. It’s also a story of balancing acts—the work the main characters, a son and mother, do to keep from dropping their whole lives to the ground, but the story itself is both precariously and perfectly balanced as it switches points-of-view and time frames and crises. Her characters are eccentrics, both lovable and worrisome, very dear, like nobody else.

From Get Down, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006

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