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New Yorker Fiction Review #163: "A Short History of Zaka the Zulu" by Petina Gappah

Image result for Petina Gappah Zakwa Zulu New Yorker

Review of a story from the Sept. 26th, 2016 issue of The New Yorker...

Unfortunately, they keep making weeks faster than I can get through my back issues of The New Yorker, so I've fallen now five (5) months behind. But it's not like fiction goes bad or anything, so...

It took me three tries, on three separate days, to get past the first page of this story, and I'm not sure why. I think it has to do with the "voice" being too reminiscent and too removed. Even when I finally sat down and determined to get the story under my belt, I faded in and out of attention while reading it. Just to test myself -- to see if it was some internal problem of my own like momentary ADD -- I read a John Cheever story right afterward and had no troubles. A compelling story is a compelling story, whether it's about devious middle class white people in 1960s Long Island or about boys in a prep school in Zimbabwe.

No reason to pile-on here. I made an honest effort, but didn't enjoy this one. It happens.

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