Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Brooklyn Dodgers

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Brooklyn Dodgers

Article excerpt

THE SOURCE: "Wonder Bread" by Melvin Jules Bukiet, in The American Scholar, Autumn 2007.

A WARM-AND-FUZZY COX HAS infected Brooklyn, New York's newly hip borough. There, a clique of extremely successful young writers has taken up residence and begun producing Brooklyn Books of Wonder (BBoWs). BBoWs, says novelist and Sarah Lawrence College writing teacher Melvin Jules Bukiet, are produced according to a sure-fire recipe: "Take mawkish self-indulgence, add a heavy dollop of creamy nostalgia, season with magic realism, stir in complacency of faith, and you've got wondrousness."

Among those infected with wonder are Jonathan Safran Foer, Dave Eggers, Myla Goldberg, and Nicole Krauss, all of whom have written briskly selling novels (in Eggers's ease, a novelistic memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) in recent years. Others belong to this writing school in spirit. Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon, for example, is a wonder boy, though he lives in the San Francisco Bay area and is slightly older; Alice Sebold is an out-of-state lady of the dub. It's time, Bukiet suggests, that these books come in for the shaming they deserve.

Most BBoWs display several of the following symptoms: child protagonists (often orphans); triumphs over great adversity; epiphanies and lessons learned; "mothy, softcore sex" and "pallid, softcore religion"; wisdom doled out by sage elders; and escapist fantasies "garnished with intellectual flourishes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.