Saturday, June 30, 2007

New titles in Galway City Library

Two Brothers, by Bernardo Atxaga; Random House
Atxaga is not just a Basque novelist but the Basque novelist: a writer charged, whether he likes it or not, with exporting a threatened culture around the world. Born in 1951, Atxaga grew up in a Basque-speaking valley of scattered houses and villages near San Sebastian. The two brothers of the title are orphaned in their adolescence. Paulo inherits the sawmill and too much responsibility, because his brother, Daniel, has a mental age of three. The brothers are trapped in their situation, which is in turn aggravated by their neighbours. Village life is tough, Atxaga says.
The Book of Happiness, by Nina Berberova ; New Directions
Berberova is a wonderous writer. A master of the long short story, she has been compared with Turgenev and Chekhov. In this wonderful novel about one woman's three love affairs, Berberova is uncannily shrewd about romance, about its bright promise, without making her characters real satisfactions seem trite. Even more important, those desiring happiness must understand each moment to be pregnant with the possibility of its arrival. Berberova's is a prose of small gestures, pregnant moments, and memories polished bright as sea pebbles by the constant tumbling of thought.

Shipwreck, by Louis Begley; Ballantine Books
A precious account of an American writer's love affair with a young Frenchwoman. John North is someone who has pretty much achieved everything he could hope for in life. In Paris to promote the French translation of one of his books, John is so overwhelmed by the burden of his persona that he accosts a perfect stranger in a café one night and proceeds to tell him the true story of his life. A novel of deception and betrayal

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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