Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Health – Joy Williams



“Williams's fiction often portrays life as a downward spiral, and the failure of life in America, from a spiritual as well as economic perspective, as a virtual certainty. Her characters, generally from the Middle Class, frequently fall from it, at times in bizarre fashion, in a form of cultural dispossession. Characters are usually divorced, children are abandoned, and their lives are consumed with fear, often irrational…”

Yup – I say the above pretty much nails the overall feeling in Health.

It is a bit creepy to read about the pre-teen main character going into, and being briefly spied on during a tanning session.

Mid-80s teens tanning?

I can’t seem to remember any girls that were in the 8th or 9th grade with me going to tanning sessions. Sure, I think they spent time at the pool…or in their back yards working on a tan – but not at tanning salons.

Williams does a great job dropping hints of the future “youth-worship” society we live in today.

The kids are working too hard to look older and the adults are working too hard at looking like kids, and there is this weird mid-point where the two ages intersect.

The downward spiral of America…spiritually and economically and you might as well throw in culturally, academically and morally…yup I think we are well enough seeing that now.

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