Waiting for the Electricity by Christina Nichol begins in the republic of Georgia. The novel is about a humble maritime lawyer, Slims Achmed Makahvili. The Communists are long gone, but there are no jobs in the cities—and when there are jobs, employees aren’t compensated. When they are compensated, it’s because the jobs are . . . not strictly scrupulous.
Makahvili discovers an application for a small internship program sponsored by Hillary Clinton. His letters to her describe his eagerness to bring efficiency and opportunity to his homeland, replacing his friends’ and relatives’ decadence, lethargy and unsavory business practices. After Makahvili is chosen for the internship and finally arrives in America—in a utopian San Francisco—he decides his loud, bickering family and his anguished, joyful country no longer seem so grim.
The book has been described by author Norman Rush as a “triumphant, sustained, comic performance.” He adds: “I can’t recall a contemporary American novel anywhere near as funny.” The Wall Street Journal describes the book as “endearing and dryly hilarious.”
Location: 555 Post St., San Francisco
Time: 6 p.m. program
MLF: Reading Californians Book Discussion
Program organizer: Betty Bullock