The exurban neighbourhods of El Paso County, Colorado seem, to this observer, environments designed for alienation and loneliness: street after street of developer-built houses fronted by enormous, power-operated garage doors, which display an defensive attitude to the street, and to the larger world. It all makes The Netherlands, where I currently live, seem mighty urbane, and civilized.
PETER BEHRENS is the author of The Law of Dreams ("Absorbing, unsparing and beautifully written...a masterly novel--NYTBR) which won the Governor General's Award for Literature in 2006 and is published in nine languages. His second novel The O'Briens comes out in the U.S. (Pantheon) in March 2012. A native of Montreal, he was a Wallace D. Stegner Fellow at Stanford U., and lives in Maine and Texas.
Living alongside you these days and listening to the contenders in your Republican primaries is like overhearing a crazy family from the Maine backwoods in a loud, weird squabble at the Bangor Mall: everyone threatening, gesticulating, talking trash. Get it together, America.
02/13/2012 12:07 EST
Instead of competitive fedora'd gunsels from the Plateau Mont-Royal hustling truckloads of illicit booze through the New England night, and tommy-gunning each other on the approaches to Rutland, this time it's TransCanada's Keystone project threatening spillage and spoilage of precious ecozones in Nebraska.
01/27/2012 11:58 EST
As they grew old, and faced their deaths, most of what had happened in the decades since their war seemed to recede, fade, lose shape and colour -- and the hard kernels of dastardly memory grounded in those intense weeks and months in Europe was all that remained.
11/10/2011 10:47 EST
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