Have you ever met someone you identified with so much, and were so enthralled by, that you had complete confidence in their taste in books? For me, that person is Aaliya Saleh, the narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s magnificent novel An Unnecessary Woman.
Like many people, I became aware of David Lynch through Twin Peaks, but I didn't consider myself a fan until I caught Wild at Heart on TV one day. It's so insane that I can't help but love it. As some early critics pointed out, it's often more about iconography than character, with Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern as oblivious, sexed-up baby rebels named Sailor and Lula.
Everyone I respect — anyone I could respect — has quite a list of failures going. And I need to work on mine a little bit. That’s right, friends. It’s time to add to my collection of failures. But I only want the best.
“Legend” is an interesting word. Most commonly, it’s used to refer to a story told again and again to share an important lesson. It’s also the word that spies use to refer to their cover identities. But we also have a legend we tell ourselves, one about what we could be and what our lives would be like if we could reach our potential. Not “if all of our dreams come true” — winning the lottery isn’t in this fairy tale.
In January of 2006, I was under house arrest. I had received a bone marrow transplant a few months before. Weak, bald, and lacking an immune system, I couldn’t leave the rental apartment where my mother and I were staying except to go to the hospital. Even then, I had to wear a face mask and avoid touching surfaces.