Moments in the Sun

Postmodernism is slipperier than a greased watermelon. Society used to have simple standards and reasonable expectations: up was up, men and women were men and women, and fiction tidily progressed from beginning to end in a linear fashion. But then Postmodernism -- the literary and arts movement that threw out convention with the bathwater -- came barging in to our collective consciousness like a highly theoretical bull in a china shop still selling plates with Aristotle on them. For a textbook example of multifaceted postmodern literary flair, look no further than author and filmmaker John Sayles's latest tome, A Moment in the Sun, a thousand-page post-Civil War epic that starts in the U.S. south (North Carolina) but soon travels all over the world (Cuba, the Philippines, and so on). With its a tremendous cast of characters in various, winding, non-linear and intersecting plot lines and globally-inclusive setting, the novel has provoked comparisons to Thomas Pynchon. Sayles will be in town this month for the Miami Book Fair.
Wed., Nov. 16, 8 p.m., 2011

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