King: A Street Story / King
Novel , 1999
With the poetic acuity that renders his work timeless, John Berger brings us a 24-hour chronicle of homelessness. Beside a highway, in a wasteland furnished with smashed trucks and broken washing machines, lives a vagrant community of once-hopeful individuals, now abandoned by the twentieth century.
King, our narrator, is the guardian of a homeless couple, stealing meat from the butcher and sharing the warmth of his flesh. His canine sensibility affords him both amnesty from human hardship and rare insight into his companions' lives. Through his senses we see –clearly and unsentimentally– the dignity and strength that can survive within chaos and pain.