Jan 18, 13
Read from January 16 to 18, 2013
Prose does a great job of presenting Americans from an immigrants' point of view. Those of us who have roots here for three or four generations tend to think life and customs here are life and customs period.
The Albanian narrator, Lula sees America and Americans with a survivor's eye, tremendous wit and irony. She tells stories, lies, and tells truths as well. She has fled Albania to make a new American life.
On the way, she stops off in New Jersey, and provides aid to a family which is shell shocked from the matriarch's disappearance and descent into insanity. Her own strength is derived from surviving traumas in Communist Albania and the losses in her family. She does not provide chicken soup and warm hugs. This is today's story. She nukes frozen pizza for the bereft 17 year old and sits with his abandoned father as he drinks water. She provides the glue for an American family which is unhinged by its own tragedy.
Lula is no angel. She is smart, resourceful, sexy and and aching. Part of her American life is just like the readers. Part of it is just Lulu's.