Friday, December 14, 2012

Miami (more than twenty years ago)

Joan Didion’s Miami is a hard hitting look at the political, social, and economic scene of the title city.  Written mostly about incidents and events which took place in the 1980s, it is difficult to tell how much of this book is still relevant.  Regardless, Didion takes on a complex topic,  handling the heady mixture of people and groups of exilic Cubans in Miami.

Care should be taken when reading this book.  Because Didion uses a narrative voice very close to the people and organizations she is examining, it often appears that she is making derogatory or even racist remarks.  But she is merely taking the tone of the person, giving their voice some play in the narrative.  She keeps, more or less, her journalistic distance.

All in all, this is a dense book that is not for everyone.  Unless you are a die-hard Didion fan, or have a vested interest in the scene in Miami (over twenty years ago) its concerns may be too remote.

No comments:

Post a Comment