The Noisiest Book Review
In the Known World:
An Appraisal

Ms. McGowan
Before Reading

To: Lolita Lark

From: C. McGowan

RE: The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World

Dear Ms. Lark:

These gorgeous books deserve better. Nevertheless, I am eating while reading The Book, dripping bits of my lunch, a nice chicken sauté with cous-cous onto its creamy pages. Page 33 now has a tiny translucent smear over the word "Okie." ...

My copies of The Book will have one shirt-tail untucked, frayed pants cuffs, Broad Shoulders and a head full of curly hair. It will laugh "Hee Hee Hee." I am reading every word and always eating, so it is fate, as well as untidiness, reshaping my The Book.

It made me laugh out loud. It took my breath away. I bled with Quan Barry. I read "When I was a German" and "Surviving as a Musician" in Bikrenau and they spoke to that question, "What Would I Have Done?"

I still don't know how to kick a duck, and I won't look at trees quite the same way again. It is so fine that I haven't even finished it and I want to read it all over again. I want to read it all tonight and I want to savor it.

Ms. McGowan
After Reading

I wish I could visit with you and sit right next to you and talk about every piece I've read. Doug Cruickshank's ghost dog. Blue Cloud's horses. Outing J. S. Bach as an alien. But I ramble. In summation, it really is the best of the best. You have every right to be proud of your baby.
--- C. McGowan
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