The Lacuna by Barbara Kingslover

I am partial to books (and films, and tv series) about writers but this is only one of the many reasons why I loved The Lacuna.

Barbara Kinglsover is a true master: she pulls off a thoughtful, gripping, part tragic and part funny, unputdownable novel which is composed of fake and real news clippings, letters, journal entries, and editorial notes. With those she paints a vivid political landscape while the story remains deeply personal.

The Lacuna is very topical. Setting the story during the times of Mexican Revolution and later the red scare of the McCarthy era, Kingslover can pass judgements from a safe distance. But the reader cannot help but see parallels to current events and moods. The witches wear different robes, but witch hunts remain politically useful as ever. The world globalizes, but people can be made to feel foreign and unwelcome just the same. The media uses new media, but the drive towards sensationalism remains unchanged — and deadly.

It is tempting to stay away from current affairs, to stay above the bog and morass of news and politics. Kinglsover suggests those intentions might be futile. The quicksand of human spite and journalism without ethics will suck the victims in, no questions asked.

The Lacuna — a book that can be safely categorized as a modern classic.

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