Archive - November 27, 2013

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Review of Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) The Book of Important Moments

Review of Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) The Book of Important Moments

The Book of Important Moments By Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) Dzanc Books $14.95 (paperback) 256 pages 2013 Reviewed by Joanna Luloff (Sri Lanka 1996-98) One of Richard Wiley’s haunted and haunting characters in his latest novel The Book of Important Moments contemplates a jigsaw puzzle of Africa toward the end of the narrative. Babatunde reflects on his new landlady’s eyes, describing them as “slightly rheumy, and one had a visible cataract in it, long and vertical and milky, like the map of Nigeria’s neighbor, called Dahomey, in his long lost Africa jigsaw puzzle. He had loved that puzzle more than anything.” Babatunde, himself, is not unlike a jagged puzzle, a man of many bewildering parts who only becomes fully visible by novel’s end. One can take the metaphor even further, too, and read Wiley’s novel as a jigsaw puzzle of discrete pieces that travels between Lagos, Nigeria and Tacoma Washington . . .

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