The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2017
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”250″ identifier=”0374304904″ locale=”US” src=”https://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/51iJzr6vHL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”167″]You Bring the Distant Near:
Hardback: FSG Books, 2017
[ [easyazon_link identifier=”0374304904″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ] [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B06W5PD8XP” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
ERB: One of the central themes of the novel is characters wrestling with the bonds of family, faith, and tradition that link them to others, but that are being renegotiated in changing times and locales. This theme struck me as particularly timely. What role does tradition play in helping us find our bearings in a rapidlychanging world?
Mitali Perkins: The hyphenated life is full of losses and gains. It’s sad that many Americans identify racially only as a color (i.e., white, black, etc.) or via a socially-constructed label (African-American, Asian American, Latino, etc.) instead of affiliating with a traditional culture that’s defined by language, food, dance, rites of passage, etc. Most of us grow up far from our villages of origin and we lose the stabilizing power of traditions and age-old values. On the plus side, some old-world traditions are confining and even destructive (like
the shadism described in You Bring the Distant Near), and so breaking free from them gives us freedom to define ourselves with new values that we choose as Americans.
- from our interview with Mitali Perkins
in our Fall 2017 magazine issue.
( SUBSCRIBE NOW to the magazine)
READ the Starred Review from Publishers Weekly…