book reviews by Althea

Review: The City Born Great

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The City Born Great
The City Born Great by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s the third time this has happened: I heard the author read this at a public event, and for a few minutes couldn’t figure out why it sounded so awfully familiar upon reading it, when I *knew* it was a just-published story.
It’s a wonderful story. It draws upon a rich literary concept: that of the city as an entity with its own unique personality and *being*. And cities here – those with a rich, living culture and deep history, are literally embodied through ‘avatars.’
Here, New York City is about to be ‘born’ – but there will be a few quirks and growing pains, not to mention just plain weird occurrences, for the kid who is New York to realize what’s happening.

The language of this piece is amazingly strong and truly captures the spirit of my city. I’d challenge any New Yorker not to love it.

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