‘Thrust’ delivers a mind-blowing critique of America’s ideals

Ron Charles in The Washington Post:

Lidia Yuknavitch’s extraordinary new novel is the weirdest, most mind-blowing book about America I’ve ever inhaled. Part history, part prophecy, all fever dream, “Thrust” offers a radical critique of the foundational ideals that conceal our persistent national crimes. As we march from Juneteenth to July 4, this is a story to scrub the patinated surface of our civic pride.

There’s a tidal movement to “Thrust,” whose chapters ebb and flow across 200 years in and around the New York Harbor. At the opening, we catch a vision of immigrants working on a colossal new monument designed in France and shipped in pieces to the United States. With allusions to Walt Whitman, Yuknavitch gives voice to the multitude. “We were woodworkers, iron workers, roofers and plasterers and brick masons,” the narrator intones. “We were pipe fitters and welders and carpenters … We were cooks and cleaners and nuns and night watchpeople. We were nurses and artists and janitors, runners and messengers and thieves. Mothers and fathers and grandparents, sisters and brothers and children.”They are, in short, the whole panoply of fresh Americans drawn here from around the planet, and they’re pounding 31 tons of copper and 125 tons of steel into a towering statue of a robed woman holding a torch aloft to light the way to liberty.

More here.