Tuesday, March 21, 2023

the last book I ever read (Vendela Vida's We Run the Tides, excerpt two)

from We Run the Tides: A Novel by Vendela Vida:

We meet in the Male Teacher’s Lounge, which is basically his private office because there are no other male teachers except for the P.E. teacher, Mr. Robinson, who uses the Sports Staff office as his lair. He even put an Australian flag on the door to mark his territory. The Female Teacher’s Lounge is crowded and smells like the shallow vase water of dying flowers. The Male Teacher’s Lounge always smells of burnt coffee—the scent of testosterone, I assume.

Today Mr. London and I are meeting to discuss Franny and Zooey. He sits back in his desk chair and strokes his clean-shaven chin. Behind him, on three shelves, are books by Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises, A Moveable Feast), Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night), and Robert Louis Stevenson (Kidnapped). There’s also an entire shelf devoted to the work of Jack London, which I personally believe he’s included in his “library” to subliminally propel the myth that he’s related to Jack London without having to prove it.

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