Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Twelve top books about the human brain

Jason Tougaw is the author of The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism and The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in the Age of Neuroscience.

At Electric Lit he tagged twelve great books about the human brain, including:
Paul Beatty, The Sellout

Beatty’s narrator tells his hilarious LA story about reviving both racial segregation and slavery from inside the Supreme Court, while he smokes outlandish amounts of artisanal weed he’s been growing, along with watermelons, back in LA. This is a story told by a guy who’s incredibly high, a guy experimenting with his brain chemistry while he addresses the most sober institution in the United States. It’s also a story told by a guy whose father was a fairly unhinged academic who conducted psychological studies on him, starting at an early age. The narrator’s father is like Dr. Frankenstein or Jean-Jacques Rousseau with his creepy fantasy about raising the perfect little girl. He experimented on his son to explore some hazy theories about the construction of race and the internalization of racism. Beatty turns the hard problem into social satire about the racism that plagues American culture.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue