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Monday, April 20, 2015

Caring for American White Trash in Michael Collins' The Resurrectionists


There are certain areas in America that I'm interested in, not necessarily the white, upper middle class America we Filipinos see everyday through our television sets and through movies. They have a colloquial name for these people and I'm not sure if writing it here would make it politically correct.
I am referring to American white trash, white Americans who live in the fringes of their society, growing up in really rural towns, deeply religious, into farming and live in the coldest and most forbidding areas in America.
The central character in Michael Collins' The Resurrectionists fit that description perfectly. Abused as a child, not much affection shown as a young child, he is in essence, a loser in our success-oriented society and he is trying to reconnect to the family of his past from a remote farming in Michigan. I don't know why I was drawn to the depressing atmosphere in the novel, but I kept reading it hoping to find some reason as to why some murders and mysterious fires had to happen during the young life of the central character.
In the end, one couldn't care less anymore. What's important is for the main character to snatch his life back and although it's not perfect (his lover loves another man who is in jail, his teenage son hates him and his guts, and his daughter is apathetic to him), his road trip with his family made him finally realize that he had already ran away from his sordid past, a long time ago.

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