I saw all the travelers watching films or television on their touchscreens. My grandmother had her earbuds in, too. I thought of the word digital and how it really means to touch.
I’m El Salvadoran to an Oaxacan, mulatto to a Haitian squinting her eyes, black to the negro curious about America’s slave past, and white to any Anglo too busy finding what they want to see there. Either I am nobody, or I am a nation.
Gaddis’s first novel, The Recognitions, was my favorite for a long time, and I’ve reread and written about it more often than his others, but his second novel, J R, is now my favorite, and arguably the best thing he wrote. (It’s also my nomination for THE Great American Novel.)