Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fictional Non Fictionists

Colson Whitehead had me. As I read this in New York magazine, I thought how could they have missed this story. But by the third paragraph, it struck me. This guy is lying!

Nevertheless a thoroughly entertaining satire - somewhat lost on some of the readers as noted in the comments - but then these are exactly the target audience so no matter. Here's a sample:

Average. That’s one thing Margaret most definitely is not. I broach this subject with her friend Misha Defonseca, author of Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, which describes how she hid out in the forests of Europe to escape the Nazis and was taken in by a gang of wolves. Whenever Misha makes it out to the States for a visit, she and Margaret go shopping for Levi’s, which are difficult to come by in her native country. She resells them to aspiring hipsters in her village at a dreadful markup.

I visit her tiny cottage, a few kilometers outside a large Eastern European city. Misha is a little Cabbage Patch doll of a woman, with an energy beyond her years. It’s not hard to see her nestled in with the other cubs, fighting bravely for the teat of the she-bitch. I ask her if it’s harder to be adopted by black people or wolves. She chuckles at my question and sips her tea. “We tease each other, Margaret and I. She says, ‘At least we had cable and White Castle—you had to forage for nuts and berries.’ But the wolves, I tell her, the wolves have”—and here she turns her eyes to the ceiling—“they have La Vida Lobo. The Wolf Life!” It is a brief audience, and she soon dismisses me to return to work on the prequel of her memoir, about her time on the run from the Armenian genocide, when she was taken in by ferrets.

Ah, ferrets...

No comments: