Curtis Sittenfeld’s You Think It, I’ll Say It is a tough act to follow on the short-story front but nonetheless, I figured Jeffrey Eugenides’s first collection, Fresh Complaint, would be a reasonable bet.
The collection opens with Complainers, a gentle story about the decades-long friendship between two women, and how their relationship changes when one is diagnosed with dementia. I feel like I’m reading about dementia at every turn at the moment, but Eugenides’s take on it from the perspective of a friend was refreshingly different.
Dementia isn’t a nice word. It sounds violent, invasive, like having a demon scooping out pieces of your brain which in fact is just what it is. Continue reading
A conversation overheard in 1975…
Richard Yates: I usually write about men but I’m thinking I’ll do something about a miserable woman…
Anita Brookner: Well Dick, one knows that there’s plenty of material when it comes to miserable women.
RY: And so many tempting themes around misery…
AB (laughing): Misery loves company!
RY: Loneliness, bitterness, regret, jealousy…
AB: Yes, the truly miserable woman has it all. Continue reading
Five things I thought while listening to A Family Romance by Anita Brookner:
01. I can rely on Brookner for the sort of consistency that I love in Yates or Taylor.
02. So, so glad that there’s a bunch of Brookner on my library’s BorrowBox list and that it’s narrated by Fiona Shaw (whose voice has just enough plum to provide deeply satisfying listening). Continue reading
A line jumped out halfway through Richard Yates’s penultimate novel, Young Hearts Crying –
‘…but there was a persuasive tone of sadness all through the story and a well-earned sense of impending tragedy toward the end.’
And it was as if Yates had written a review of his own book. Continue reading
I feel like Elizabeth Taylor gets overlooked.
I don’t mean this Taylor:
This month’s rewind includes my favourite book for 2014 (and possibly for this year as well) – Continue reading
It’s time for #6degrees. It’s unquestionably the least demanding bookish meme on the interwebs, so join in!
This month we begin with Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (thanks to Brona for the suggestion). My first link is to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run. That might seem an unlikely link but I’ve seen Springsteen twice in the last few years, and both times Hanging Rock was the backdrop. Continue reading
A quick review of two very different books – perhaps unfair to lump these together but my blogging has not kept up with my reading during the last month, so I’m catching up. Continue reading
The last month has been MENTAL. I’ve hardly had time to read. I know, right? Anyway, it’s why I’m only getting around to the April rewind now… Continue reading
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. Continue reading