Exhibit 9.5

The Pink Institution

It’s a horrific book in the best sense of the word. The characters are sketches but their devastation is real, and it’s a hard book to read without thinking of modernists classics (mostly Faulkner) that get every last bit of sadness out of each word. It’s a book of beautiful language which, in this case, doesn’t mean poetic or rhapsodizing language but rather an innovative use of the page’s white space and words that cut. The writing and the physical presentation of the book–complete with old photographs and text from a ball program–work so well together that it’s easy to image the fragmented text dilapidating in conjunction with its story.

I haven’t spent much time on that side of the Mason-Dixon line, but books like this one (not to mention Barry Hannah and Larry Brown, etc.) make it hard to believe the Civil War has ever really ended. Saterstrom’s work which isn’t so much about the South as it is the Southern condition. The story of four generations of a family told in 140 sparsely worded pages, the book works in cycles of abuse, alcoholism, and neglect. Each generation repeats the last one’s mistakes, and even as modernity slowly breaks into the novel the characters remain mired in an antebellum angst which they pass on to the next generation.

As you might have gathered, it’s a dark book. The characters get scarred early and seem to spend the rest of their lives making sure their own children get hurt worse than they did. But it’s also a quiely beautiful work that stands apart from a lot of contemporary literature. It reads like a classic that people have been reading for a long time, and one imagines they will be.

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