As a child, "Mark Spitz" (the ironic nickname of the otherwise unnamed main character who can't swim) dreamed of living in Manhattan, captivated by the bright lights and soaring buildings of his family's visits to his Uncle Lloyd. Ultimately, he does make it to New York City but not in the way he imagined he would. Instead of a modern luxury apartment, his home is "Fort Wonton" in former Chinatown; rather than a career as a lawyer, his profession involves killing undead stragglers left after a first pass by the military. This is not the stuff of childhood dreams. It's nightmarish. And Spitz's childhood love of monster movies adds yet another layer of irony to his fate as a zombie hunter.
Colson Whitehead's post-apocalyptic, dystopian zombie novel is a complex mix of mischievous irony and grotesque imagery, sprinkled with violence, alternating hope and desperation. It isn't a...
Beyond the Book
They're the undead dreaded monsters that feast on the brains of the living. But what exactly is the origin of the zombie? No one knows for sure - perhaps it's the Haitian belief that animals can be brought back to life via witchcraft; or maybe it's the jiang shi
(reanimated dead body) in Chinese folklore that lives off others' qi
or life forces; or what about the evil Dybbuk in Jewish fables that consumes the spirits of lost souls?
Though a definitive mythology of the origin of zombies isn't entirely clear, these ghastly ghouls - in some form or variation - have been a part of the Western...