New York Times Book Review Cover
This illustration is on the cover of today's New York Times Book Review. The featured book is titled "Netherland" by Joseph O'Neill. For a larger view of the art, click here. Nicholas Blechman is the art director and it's always a pleasure working with him.
The full review is at the NY Times site here. The storyline is a complex mix of life in New York after 9/11 and the solace the main character finds in the world of cricket players in NYC. Here are some quotes from the review:
"The plot in “Netherland” runs on two tracks. The first tells the story of a family. The narrator, Hans van den Broek, is a Dutch-born equities analyst (he compares himself, in terms of influence if not infamy, to Henry Bldget) who lives in a TriBeCa loft with his British-born wife, Rachel, and their son. When 9/11 forces them to flee farther uptown, they end up living, almost by accident, in the shabby-glamorous Chelsea Hotel, and it is there that their marriage slowly cracks apart.Rachel wants to take their son back to London and her family. He’ll be safer there, far from George Bush and the United States, a country she has begun to think of as “ideologically diseased.” Hans, unsure of his feelings, starts to believe he is “a political-ethical idiot.” O’Neill writes beautifully about what it sometimes felt like in the months after 9/11, when you couldn’t attend a dinner party unless you were intellectually armed for hours of bitter debate."
"The book’s second story line, and perhaps its more resonant one, is about the solace Hans finds in the vibrant subculture of cricket in New York, where he is among the few white men to be found on the hundreds of largely West Indian teams in the city, teams that fan out, in the hazy summertime, across scrabby, lesser-known public parks."
“All people, Americans, whoever, are at their most civilized when they’re playing cricket,” he explains. “What’s the first thing that happens when Pakistan and India make peace? They play a cricket match. Cricket is instructive, Hans. It has a moral angle. ... I say, we want to have something in common with Hindus and Muslims? Chuck Ramkissoon is going to make it happen. With the New York Cricket Club, we could start a whole new chapter in U.S. history. Why not?”