By Lori Ostlund
From Flannery O’Connor and Rona Jaffe Award winner Lori Ostlund, a deeply relocating and lovely debut novel a couple of guy who leaves his longtime companion in New Mexico for a brand new lifestyles in San Francisco, launching him on a tragicomic highway journey and into the mysteries of his personal Midwestern childhood.
Sensitive, big-hearted, and achingly self-conscious, forty-year-old Aaron Englund some time past escaped the confines of his Midwestern fatherland, yet he nonetheless seems like an outcast. After two decades below the Pygmalion-like path of his older companion Walter, Aaron ultimately comes to a decision it's time to cease letting lifestyles occur to him and to take regulate of his personal destiny. yet quickly after constructing himself in San Francisco—where he alternates among a shoddy storage residence and the absurdly ramshackle ESL university the place he teaches—Aaron sees that genuine freedom won't come until eventually he has made peace together with his thoughts of Morton, Minnesota: a cramped city whose 400 souls shape a constellation of Aaron’s formative years heartbreaks and hopes.
After Aaron’s father died within the city parade, it was once the larger-than-life misfits of his childhood—sardonic, wheel-chair certain dwarf named Clarence, a beneficiant, overweight baker named Bernice, a kindly aunt preoccupied with desires of The Rapture—who helped Aaron locate his position in a provincial international adverse to distinction. yet Aaron’s experience of rejection runs deep: while Aaron used to be seventeen, Dolores—Aaron’s loving, egocentric, and enigmatic mother—vanished one evening with town pastor. Aaron hasn’t heard from Dolores in additional than two decades, but if a shambolic PI named invoice deals a key to closure, Aaron needs to confront his personal function in his bothered earlier and reconsider his position in a global of unpredictable, life-changing forces.
Lori Ostlund’s debut novel is an openhearted contemplation of ways we develop up and movement on, how we will be able to flip our private wounds into our best strengths. Written with homespun appeal and unceasing power, After the Parade is an excellent new anthem for the outsider.
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Extra info for After the Parade: A Novel
The sheer number, and many different kinds, of people—if we define “people” very loosely—that populate medieval literature also add enormously to its richness. In the light of eternity You might think the moralism and otherworldliness of medieval Christianity would suck all the color, vigor, and interest out of life in this world. Christians in the Middle Ages insisted on seeing everything sub specie aeternitas, that is, considered in the light of eternity. This life on earth, they believed, is as the twinkling of an eye compared with our eternal life after death, and the happiness or misery we feel here is as nothing compared with either the inexpressible joys of heaven or the endless pains of hell.
This is the moment at which the hero of the 12 PIGEnglish1-blueline 9/25/06 1:45 PM Page 13 Old English Literature poem, the brave warrior, is no longer able take an active role, to play the Germanic hero. Or, if you look at it another way, this is a window on the crisis in which the pagan culture of the Anglo-Saxons encountered a heroism that was beyond its reckoning, and was broken and changed by it. “This life on loan” Christendom—the civilization of Christian Europe—was the eventual result of the encounter that the Anglo-Saxons and their Germanic cousins had with Christianity.
The Battle of Maldon, written soon after this disaster, celebrates the heroism of the English in their defeat. The unknown author of this poem could, like John Leaños, be described as a kind of “public artist, performance artist, and cultural worker”—the public intellectual of his day. Also like John Leaños, he believed that at least some of the deaths he memorialized were unnecessary: the results of mischance, of the cowardice of fellow soldiers, and even of a disastrous mistake arising from a flaw in the character of the English commander.
After the Parade: A Novel by Lori Ostlund