Sunday, January 15, 2006

Best American Nonrequired Reading of 2004

This was a birthday gift, and I've been reading it bit by bit ever since. Though I really enjoyed the foreword (by Dave Eggers, making me want to read more by him), most of the pieces I didn't like (big surprise there, huh?), I think because many of them were sad in some way. The wind is blowing the heat away from my house, so I'm about to jump back under my many blankets and watch some West Wing, so I'll just tell you about the piece I liked best.

Sixteen Jackies, by Lance Olson is a first person narrative about Jackie Kennedy's life after Dallas. She barely remembers what happened the day JFK was killed, but she remembers what happened later. She moved out of the white house and into a posh apartment in Manhattan. She gained a hundred pounds and read the papers at a cafe where nobody would recognize her. Eventually, she started reading stories about herself, saying she was spotted on a tropical island, or she married some magnate named Aristotle. Her reaction is basically a chuckle.

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