Disobedience

Michael Drinkard, Author
Michael Drinkard, Author W. W. Norton & Company $21.95 (349p) ISBN 978-0-393-03478-3
Paperback - 349 pages - 978-0-520-20683-0
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Drinkard's southern California is a semi-futuristic, Pynchonesque world where steaks are sprayed with carcinogen-blockers and people meet through video party lines. His cartoonish, postmodern multigenerational saga flips back and forth through time, from 1885, when Eliza Tibbets plants California's first navel oranges as a symbol of the fertility she so desperately wants, to the near future of her great-granddaughter's family. Mavy Tibbets, a spaced-out coven member and daughter of a notorious hard-core novelist, protects a family secret that will later feature in her disappearance or murder. Her husband, corporate climber Franklin Wells, seeks relief from the info-tech age through surfing, sex, nature and Girl Scout cookies. Meanwhile, their teenage son Aaron is suspected by the police of torching his high school. California seems like a rootless time-warp where America constantly reinvents itself. Drinkard ( Green Bananas ) delivers a lyrical, devastatingly witty commentary on alientation in our increasingly irrational, violent world, but his hermetic fantasy soon palls. (June)
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