By Russell Banks
Russell Banks has exhibited an astonishingly ingenious diversity all through his distinctive profession as a novelist, and his uniquely practical American voice, on show in such sleek classics as Rule of the Bone and Continental float, keeps to polish during this most recent attempt. lovers and beginners alike could be rewarded by way of his incisive eye for personality and his skill to carry a continuing and interesting narrative -- continuously within the provider of his inimitable type. The Darling is Hannah Musgrave's tale, informed emotionally and convincingly years later by way of Hannah herself. A political radical and member of the elements Underground, Hannah has fled the United States to West Africa, the place she and her Liberian husband turn into buddies and co-workers of Charles Taylor, the infamous warlord and now ex-president of Liberia. whilst Taylor leaves for the USA as a way to break out embezzlement fees, he is instantly put in felony. Hannah's come across with Taylor in the USA finally triggers a chain of occasions whose momentum catches Hannah's relatives in its grip and forces her to make a heartrending selection. Set in Liberia and the USA from 1975 via 1991, The Darling is a political-historical mystery -- corresponding to Greene and Conrad -- that explodes the style, elevating severe philosophical questions on terrorism, political violence, and the conflict of races and cultures.
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Extra info for The darling
I made coffee for Anthea, who comes in at six and says she can’t do a thing until after her second cup, and the other girls, who come in at seven. I lingered for a few moments in the kitchen while the coffee brewed, enjoying the dark smell of it. I never drink coffee, having been raised on tea, a habit I took from my father as soon as he’d let me, but I do love the smell of it when it’s brewing and buy organic Colombian beans from a mail-order catalogue and grind them freshly for each pot, just for the aroma.
I don’t really mind; Lord knows, I’ve seen worse. But it wouldn’t be nearly as unpleasant if, when you decapitated the chickens, they didn’t bleed the way they do—profusely and in spurts that last longer than you think they should—and their headless bodies didn’t scramble wildly around the shed as if in crazed search of eyes and mouths and tiny brains. It’s strange, I don’t really like poultry or birds generally. They don’t quite register with me as animals. They seem more like complicated plants or higher-order insects, and that’s more or less how I treat them, providing them from the moment they hatch with the same carefully calculated food, water, space, and shelter as I do the vegetables.
Just the farm and the world that nourishes and sustains it. Timeless, it has seemed. The farm is a commercial operation, inasmuch as I sell most of what I grow, but in truth it’s more like an old-fashioned family farm, and to run it I’ve had to give over my personal clock. I’ve had to abandon all my urban ways of measuring time and replace them with the farm’s clock, which is marked off by the needs and demands of livestock and the crops, by the requirements of soil and the surge and flux of weather.
The darling by Russell Banks