Tag Archives: Habitus

When the Day-To-Day is Fictionalized

I started reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain this week. Robinson earned both his B.A. and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego and he sets his bi-coastal novel partly in San Diego and partly in Washington, D.C. From the start, he describes a day-to-day routine that is incredibly familiar. A professional woman and mother of two small children goes through the motions of getting ready for work and leaving her husband to thaw the breast milk, feed the infant, get the toddler dressed, take the kids to daycare, and other minutiae managed as the day begins. Robinson captures perfectly the awfulness of leaving your kid at preschool for the day and the incredible fact of personality differences that you notice in your children almost the instance your second kid is born. My wife and I have lived this over the past five-and-a-half years, but it’s general enough that reading it wasn’t unsettling in any way. But when he describes another morning routine–this time involving Leo Mulhouse’s drive from his home on top of a beach side cliff in Leucadia, California to his office at a biotech startup between the Torrey Pines golf course and UCSD–the similarities are too local, too irregular. Continue reading