I think I finished this. No, I did. But sometimes it’s hard to remember. I’m not great at endings. I re-read Wicked just because I had a problem with how it ended, but I couldn’t remember what that problem was. I had trouble with the ending of Beloved. I just graded a student’s paper on Jazz, which I haven’t read (the trouble with independent reading assignments). It seems like I would have trouble with that ending too.
Thinking about endings, I’m reminded of my thoughts on Atonement. I liked the shift there at the end. I wonder if it’s the kind of shift that throws me off. I guess Atonement is a point of view shift as are (contained in) Beloved, Jazz, and Wicked. Atonement accompanies this shift with a structural shift, though, and I think that type of shift really resonates with me.
I’m not sure with Go Tell It on the Mountain. I don’t remember any specific shift at the end. It might just be that I was expecting more from the book than it delivered. It was well written and the characters were pretty strongly felt, but I just had a hard time connecting with…their conflicts. I don’t know?
I don’t remember actually reading Giovanni’s Room, but I know I liked it (although, apparently, not enough to remember it starts with a G as much as Go Tell It). I know Another Country had some insights I dwelt with and upon for awhile. I just don’t remember having the same deep experience with Go Tell It on the Mountain. Was this book about religion? I’m not sure if I have the right experiences to feel strongly what Baldwin’s exploring in that realm. And then it took me three months to read the last five or ten pages of this book. Anyway…
Another book I thought about doing for G was A Gesture Life (reminder: check the A’s and The’s in my inventory when trying to pick a book by alpha). Kind of similar experience. Chang-Rae Lee had more to say about race that I hadn’t heard before than did Baldwin in Go Tell It. Anyway, yeah. So G. I like that these books weren’t so much in my established wheelhouse. I want to talk about Baldwin more, but the novels don’t seem quite as important as the man, really. And I deal much better with novels.