Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Exclusive Preview

Last week I finished an essay about suburbia entitled "The New Geographers" for Descant, a Canadian literary journal with a circulation of at least 35. It will be published eventually. Until then, here are the first two paragraphs:

It’s nearly 3 p.m., and I’ve been sitting on a green nylon weave lawnchair outside the Brampton home of Rohinton Mistry for the past five hours. His publicist thinks I’m a lunatic, his children refuse to make eye contact, and his wife worries what the neighbours will think of the gangly young man trying to coax passersby into picket fence conversation.

So far, only the plastic pink flamingos seem willing to keep me company. And our one-way discussions long ago became tiresome. But I remain perched on the front edge of Mistry’s manicured lawn, trying to understand suburbia. Or at least Mistry’s little patch. Herbert Gans, the sociologist and author of
The Levittowners spent a year living in the suburbs back in the 1960s. The least I can do is spend the day.

The current issue of eye has an editorial about the suburbs, which is the flimsy explanation for why I’m offering a teaser for my article. Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the essay, coming soon.