This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, for one it's a memoir and not literary fiction, but I find it interesting that in this book the author battles with the machista male culture that he has inherited from his Latino father, grandfather and uncles, although this time as perceived from a Mexican-American perspective. There is more there, of course, there's the push and pull of two very different cultures and how this can tear apart, confuse or have an adverse effect in the lives of that first generation born in America. The amazing sub-culture and different world found in a border town -- division of loyalties within communities or from individuals. So far I'm finding this book both amusing and sad, but honest in its rendering, and yes it does push comfort zones although in an entirely different way from Diaz's collection of fictional short stories.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the beginning:
"A sensation of coming back alive again, only not quite that, half life maybe." [...] "Slow shift to white noise."
When they first woke him, he had the impression of the world becoming real again and he himself along with it. He did not remember having been stored. He could remember nothing about what his life had been before the Kollaps, and the days directly before they had stored him were foggy at best, little more than a few frozen images. He remembered tatters of the Kollaps itself, had a fleeting glimpse of himself panting and in flight, riots, gunfire, rubble. He remembered a bright blast, remembered awakening to find himself burned and naked as a newborn -- or perhaps even more naked, since all the hair had been singed from his body or had simply fallen out. He remembered feeling amazed to be alive, but, well, he was alive, it was hard to question that, wasn't it?
And then what? People: he had found them, or they had found him, hard to say which. A few banded together, acting "rationally" instead of "like animals," as one of them must have put it, attempting to found a new society, attempting to start over.
Not having learned better, he thought grimly, the first time.
Was it all coming back to him? He wasn't sure. And how much of what was coming back was real?
What was his name again?
I have Christmas books to read and hmm... not in the mood to read those yet. (grin) Let's see if my reading mood changes soon!