Mimi Wolske's Reviews > Zazen

Zazen by Vanessa Veselka
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's review
Jun 03, 2012

liked it

“I went to work and a guy I wait on said he was leaving.”

Everyone's leaving the United States—now a war-torn country plagued with daily violence—for safer regions of the world and Della Mylinak, a post-graduate yoga-practicing misanthropic waitress, is caught in an emotional battle: should she stay or should she leave the country that’s decaying and disappearing around her or should she help to bring it down faster?

Yes, she opts to stay...and takes a job in the cafe waiting on people who are leaving. Bombs are still going off, but capitalism continues. Della starts calling in bomb threats of her own, targeting the companies and locations that offend her the most. But when the threats start turning into actual destruction, she questions her role in these events, the universe wrapping around her, burning martyrs, and rat queens shimmering at the edge of her vision.

Velseka slips into moments of surreal prose, basically this work is a well-grounded piece of lyrical prose that is political, sometimes humorous, often frightening portrait that tells the story of a parallel world.

I wanted this to read 3 1/2 stars, but I couldn't make the half star work, so it came out 3 stars...just know I really enjoyed this novel.

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