My daughter who's prepping to go away to college soon has challenged me to join her in reading a book a week, and preferably a novel (in addition to her schoolwork and to all my other work and play).
Here's one of my favorite bits so far from what I'm finishing this weekend:
Dear Ms. Singer,That's from page 55 of The History of Love by Nicole Strauss.
I just finished your translation of the poems of Nicanor Parra, who, as you say, "wore on his lapel a little Russian astronaut, and carried in his pocket the letters of a woman who left him for another." It's sitting here next to me on the table in my room in a pensione overlooking the Grand Canal. I don't know what to say about it, except that it moved me in a way one hopes to be moved each time he begins a book. What I mean is, in some way I'd find almost impossible to describe,it changed me. But I won't go on about that....
I love how there's so much going on all at once, in the characters, in their letters, in their lives. You hear many voices in Strauss's writing, and you get to see how some of them have changed her, perhaps are her. For example, the dedication is below:
And then one of the protagonists is trying to figure out where she's come from and who she is, and we read this chart on page 96:
Her mother is telling her she's not of any one race. And after considering all the mix, she shouts back, "I'M AMERICAN," to which her little brother (the religious one, whom some refer to as 'the Moshiach') replies, "No, you're not. You're Jewish."
Last weekend, it was re-reading Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams. That one also explores life change, and the subconscious influences.
Books I'm looking forward to reading include:
Cari M. Carpenter's (or rather also Victoria Woodhull's) Selected Writings of Victoria Woodhull: Suffrage, Free Love, and Eugenics.You might just find some bits from these here to read soon. Don't know about you, don't know how, but reading changes me.
Edith Grossman's Why Translation Matters. (And what makes me even more interested is this exciting essay of hers!)
Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil.
An Educated Man: A Dual Biography of Moses and Jesus.