During this busy quarantine time, I did read 4 books. All by award winning authors: Rushdie, Lahiri, Kadare, and Roth.
Man Booker Prize - 1981
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
First American Edition
I love Rushdie, but he does frustrate me at times. Reading him is like receiving a big block of dirty ice and page by page you slowly clean this block of ice then begin work on a beautiful sculpture, yet there are times where you mess up horribly and must retrace your steps in order to perfect the masterpiece...or finish one of Rushdie's novels.
Midnight's Children is a fantastical multi-generational and political story about a young man who was born on the eve of India's independence. He is one of over 1,000 children who were born during this time. And all of these children were born with unique individualistic gifts / talents. I sort of wish Rushdie focused more on these gifts and superhero abilities than the political and social landscape of the times...but that would be a novel written by Michael Chabon perhaps instead. Still a lovely and unique tome!
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Signed First Printing
Lahiri's style is purely sweet. Even when she touches on a tough subject there is an underlying sweetness that cannot be denied. I enjoy all of her work, therefore I collected her books.
The Namesake is about immigration, self-identity, and the clash of cultures and generations. Gogol Ganguli comes from a somewhat traditional Indian family. The first name his parents bequeath him with means something special to his father. Named after his father's favorite author but there is more to the story of his name than just that. This name carries him through many facets of his life. He is embarrassed about the name, not being Indian nor American, so embarrassed that he winds up changing it later in life. This book is about family love and loyalty and the quest for the self.
International Booker Prize - 2005
The Accident by Ismail Kadare
Signed First English Edition
Man this started out with a bang, then fell flat for me, that is until the wonderful ending.
The Accident is a fever dream of a novel. Not knowing what is real at times. Having to piece the puzzle pieces together to figure out this mosaic of a novel. A car accident takes place right away, a taxi driver careens off the road killing his two passengers who were in the backseat. Was this merely an accident? Or was this murder? And if murder, by whom? Even the question of when comes into play? And these people, who are they? War, espionage, lovers, tortured affairs, unreliable character witnesses. No doubt this novel was fun.
International Booker Prize - 2011
The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
You should know by now that I adore Philip Roth. And it is crazy to think I have never read this novel, the first of the Zuckerman books.
Nathan Zuckerman is a young writer on the cusp of success. He is visiting an author he admires wholeheartedly. An older recluse who lives with his wife and former student. After a delightful conversation with this established author, Zuckerman surprisingly agrees to stay the night in the library, where this author writes. During the night, Zuckerman's curiosity and imagination gets the best of him and he winds up staying up the entire night. Most of the night he ponders on who this young former student is...a concubine, a secret lover, merely an admirer like himself, or maybe even Anne Frank? A wonder of a little novel!
What are you currently reading?
Anything you recommend?
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