Saturday, November 28, 2015
Life is more than what we know (Books - In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman)
In In the Light of What we Know by Zia Haider Rahman (Picador, 2014) story- telling itself is an important part of the story. Both who we are and how we're known, it explains, are narrative constructions.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
The Man Who Wouldn't Be Known (Books - A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara)
A Little Life (Doubleday, 2015) has been written about widely and short-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. As I started it on the recommendation of my local bookseller this past summer, I had heard very little of the hooplah. I believed I was reading a typical modern tale of four friends who went to college together, chronicling their coming of age, their successes, failures and jealousies in relationships and work. But A Little Life defies this genre. The friends are an architect, an actor, an artist, and their friend Jude, around whom they and this story revolve. Jude is a man of great beauty, although he is never physically described by the author. He is brilliant and creative, although he makes his very ample living as an attorney. Yet with all of the accoutrements of success, Jude cannot allow himself be loved, so severely is he traumatized by abuse he suffered as a child.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Revolution in thought and practice (Books - The Lunar Men by Jenny Uglow)
Credulitas. Credulity. Life is short, opportunities of knowing rare; our senses are fallacious, our reasonings uncertain; man therefore struggles with perpetual error from cradle to the coffin. He is necessitated to correct experiment by analogy, and analogy by experiment...If you live life with an ounce of curiosity in you, you likely recognize the longing Darwin so pithily expressed . If you, like Darwin, James Watt and Matthew Boulton inventors of the steam engine, Josiah Wedgwood potter and chemist, Joseph Priestley religious radical and the discoverer of oxygen, or any of the other principal characters in Uglow's The Lunar Men (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002), live to pursue your curiosities, then this is your creed.
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