A new book…?

I finally got my hands on Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. A thick, weighty volume, and, I hope, a worthwhile read for November. Alas, he will not be making an appearance at the Miami Book Fair this coming week–I do, however, hope that Books & Books will host him.

Murakami aside, I would love to see a panel at the Book Fair (or at a seminar) on dystopian fiction. Here is a rich genre, worth reading. writing, and discussion.

Last year, when the playwright (a good musician who was angling for a Hollywood deal–pity the dramas were so dreadful) was at my old apartment, I showed him a copy of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s novel, We. He recoiled on discovering that I had handed him a dystopia, calling it “Satanic.” (A rich irony, considering that he deemed himself a feminist–so long as the “feminism” in question was heteronormative!)

I could have told him that dystopian fiction served as a foil for utopian works–a counterbalance to the sometimes feverish optimism that progress, progress, progress would bring about an earthly paradise, free from pain, disease, suffering…I could have said that, while it’s good to want freedom, justice, happiness and the like, it’s easy to get blindsided, that in the pursuit of heaven lay the danger of serving hell.

Actually, I did try telling him this.

He didn’t want to hear me.