Saturday, May 17, 2008

Is this really fiction?

The Wall Street Journal yesterday ran an excerpt from the new novel by Julie Salamon titled "Hospital." This passage caught my eye:

He traveled on the overnight flight from Phoenix, landing bleary-eyed in New York on a cold morning in December Sunday. He spent the day in Manhattan, staying with a friend on the Upper West Side. She showed him Times Square, Central Park, the usual tourist stuff. On Monday morning he took the subway to Borough Park, crossing the East River, away from the Manhattan skyline toward Brooklyn, once described by another transplanted midwesterner, Ian Frazier, as having "the undefined, hard-to-remember shape of a stain"—in other words, a place you wanted to be from, not head toward. In recent years, however, the real-estate craze in Manhattan had given the borough new definition, no longer stain but hot spot for the disenfranchised young people who couldn't afford the East Village or Lower East Side and for cramped, growing families looking for bigger spaces, more sky, yards.

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