Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Recommendation: The New Valley

Remember the name Josh Weil.  When he produces a book to follow up his debut collection of three novellas The New Valley (2009), buy it.  Once in a while a new writer comes along who reminds you why you love books, why  books allow you to see people in ways you'd forgotten you could, books even that teach you to question yourself and your preconceptions.  In this beautifully, honestly written novella collection, Weil continuously shows us characters we tend to, at first glance, think that we should dismiss, and in some instances, characters we dearly want to hate.  And then he does the remarkable--he redeems them, or rather, he presents them in the fullness of their humanity and allows us to redeem ourselves.  You'll never see the hill country between the Virginias in quite the same way after reading this book.  He writes himself into situations that seem like they might well prove impossible for a veteran author and then every time he gets it just right.

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