From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy CombatantBook |
Skip the title. Read the book.
In his impressive debut novel, Alex Gilvarry traces the rise and fall of the American Dream by following his charming and tragically naïve fashion designer protagonist Boyet "Boy" Hernandez from his staid middle-class background in Manila, to the glittering runways of Fashion Week in Bryant Park, to a holding cell in Guantanamo Bay. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant is Boy's record of the events that have led to his imprisonment, and the book continually shifts focus from his wretched circumstances in prison to his first arrival in New York, his chance meeting with his neighbor and eventual business partner, Ahmed Quereshi, to his first serious relationship with Michelle Brewbaker, a mercurial Sarah Lawrence student who sees most things in life as either "random" or "ironic." That Boy is writing from prison makes it clear from the start that everything he'd thought and hoped was going to go his way has most assuredly not, but it's to Gilvarry's credit that the story never gets weighed down by predictability. He satirizes the world of fashion as deftly as he details the very real horrors of detainment as a nameless, dehumanized object in an unjust prison system. And a writer who can balance these two disparate subjects and still come up with a solid read is one to watch.
|From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant|