John Irving is one of my favorite authors. With the exception of his most recent three novels, I’ve read all his works. He once summarized the essence of a bunch of his novels. One of those comments stayed with me till this day. “…that’s what A World According to Garp is about — a father’s fear”. I couldn’t explain why that particular comment left such a strong impression with me. I wasn’t a parent then. Unlike Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for One Year, or A Prayer for Owen Meany, A World According to Garp was not one of my favorite Irving tales. I hardly remember its story line. But i remembered his summary, “a father’s fear”.
This morning I had half an hour to finish reading this article in Sep. 3rd Issue of The New Yorker:
-Police enlist young offenders as confidential informants. But the work is high-risk, largely unregulated, and sometimes fatal.
by Sarah Stillman
It made me angry, dumbfounded at how awful the law enforcement can be, how untrustworthy the machine of government can be. It also reminded me of John Irving’s comment about “a father’s fear”. Of course it also offered a flicker of hope, one advantage of a democratic society. It was fortunate that The US society have parents like Rachel Hoffman’s, who would try to make things right after they lost their daughter. While they themselves were left in the shadow of the tragedy still.
The article was very well written. The ending made me cry.