Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

Available now from Carolrhoda Lab.
"I don't remember what he sang about; I'm not sure I ever knew. It was his voice, gritty but gentle, like my father's hands when I was too small to see past them, and the slow way his melody moved along its path, not in any hurry but enjoying every note for itself, rather than look forward to the next note, and the next, until the song's end. This song would have no end; it couldn't possibly. This song was forever."

Steve Brezenoff's new book Brookyn, Burning—how do I tell you how it works? It works like music. It has that compound, layered existence music makes of the ordinary moment. 

When I first read this book last fall I said, "It is grit and ashes under a layer of honey." That is fair enough—as far as it goes. This is a gritty book, written in hurt and abandoned places. It's raw and stinging. And there is sweetness, too. This is a love song, after all.

Grit and ashes under a layer of honey. 

Read it. You will be astonished. 

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