Author: Garth Greenwell
Cleanness by Garth Greenwell follows an American in a restless Bulgaria, teaching students about poetry, hoping to leave some kind of impression. Not of himself but the encouragement to broaden what you are and can be. Greenwell avoids this sentiment being cliche or corny, the sincerity of the narrator is reflected in his own doubt. Cleanness is a study of national and personal identity and when those two things do not coincide. How there is a sense of detachment for many characters in Bulgaria and our American narrator who holds no national pride himself. What does it mean to leave your homeland for education and never come back? Is returning failure? It is all a matter of perspective.