The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling -- after his conviction Monday afternoon as a CIA whistleblower. At age 47, he is facing a very long prison sentence. As a whistleblower, he has done a lot for us.
You can dissect this novel from a hundred critical angles. Undoubtedly it's one of the most important novels ever written about race and racism. But to me it's this naked, utterly unmooring question of "Who am I?" that strikes a fundamental nerve like few other books I can think of.
Although attempts to ban books are very disappointing, the reasons behind why people have tried to do so are worth exploring and create an excellent starting point for discussion and debate among readers.
When I started this search 20 years ago, this is what I knew: When I was two months old, I was adopted through the Elizabeth Lund Home in Burlington, Vermont; my birthparents were young teenagers; my birthmother was white; my birthfather was black. That's all.
We can choose to believe that everything and everyone is dumbing down. But I don't buy that. And I think a lot of others also don't want to be told what to think. People who -- if it's smart and sturdy -- will come, and sit still for as long as it takes.