Wednesday, April 19, 2006

cold supper

Even though Gilbert Sorrentino is "the author of more than thirty books, including two novels that were finalists for the PEN/Faulkner award" and a "critical figure in postmodern American literature," I had never heard of him until a couple of months ago. Ever since that day, however, he's been everywhere! Now an excerpt from his forthcoming novel A Strange Commonplace is up over at The Brooklyn Rail:

The boy was in the backyard, playing aimlessly in the thin snow that covered the packed soil in which nothing had ever been planted. She looked out of one of the panes in the back door window at him, waiting. There he goes. He bent down and untied first one shoelace, then the other, straightened up, and headed toward the wooden stairs that led to the little back porch. She stepped away from the door, feeling a cold and gray sadness, near despair. He opened the door and stood there, a little dull animal, the wet March air coming into the kitchen. My shoes came open, Mama. She knelt down and tied them and he went out again, closing the door. The sky was turning livid as the pale, silvery sun went down. She put a bottle of Worcestershire sauce on the table, poured the sweet, orange, bottled dressing on the lettuce, tomato, and cucumber salad, and tossed it, then set the table for three. It was about time for him to get home but she knew that he wouldn’t be home till midnight. Or maybe not till the morning.