Dee tips his reviewer's cap to Subdivision author
Open letter to J. Robert Lennon
I'm a fan of your novels, but you've outdone yourself (and everyone else) in imagining the transition between life and death in Subdivision. This is the only novel I've read in decades which I began rereading and underlining immediately after reading it the first time, initially to figure out the theme and elements of the story, and also to appreciate the humor of the concern of the unnamed and not described main character with social proprieties.
There are many great elements and parts of Subdivision: the puzzle which the main character is so reluctant to complete, the two judges Clara, one compassionate and the other harsh and judgmental, Cylvia, recurrent suggestions of lost or fading memory, Mr. Lorre ( presumably the truck driver in the dream), temptations of the bakemono, the Death Tower, the all- seeing Crow, the section re the tennis balls that pierce the wall (of Creation?), the job of Phenomenon Analyst, the long baths that lead to deep sleep and then an uncomfortable awakening. It seems that even as the main character slowly, haltingly and with stubborn resistance comes to terms with her death and the death of her child, she makes choices that influence future incarnations. The judges Clara are reluctant to cut her loose from Mercy while she continues to delude herself re her state of conditional existence, but in the end the decision is not theirs. The Cosmic windstorm moves things along.
Thanks much for writing one of the most imaginative, brainy and thought provoking novels of recent decades
-- Dee Wilson