Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Madame, by Antoni Libera; Canongate
Madame is an unexpected gem: a novel about Poland during the grim years of Soviet-controlled mediocrity, which nonetheless sparkles with light and warmth.
Our young narrator-hero is suffering through the regulated boredom of high school when he is transfixed by a new teacher --an elegant "older woman" who bewitches him with her glacial beauty and her strict intelligence. He resolves to learn everything he can about her and to win her heart. This deeply symbolic novel is full of tragedy and comedy, exuberance and suffocation.

The Turkish Lover, by Esmeralda Santiago; MERLOYD LAWRENCE Memoir in which the narrator tells of running off with a struggling Turkish filmmaker 17 years her senior. Their relationship was lopsided. Santiago is an immensely powerful storyteller, and The Turkish Lover is imbued with grace and passionate honesty. She unflinchingly examines what drew her to such a destructive relationship and why she stayed so long. When life becomes frustrating, she falls back on the theory that "there [will] always be another train." The voice of Santiago is fresh, exciting, and necessary.

Lying Awake, by Mark Salzman ; Vintage
The life of a modern nun is often misjudged, mysterious, and quizzical. When a nun is the recipient of mystical visions and ecstasies, and the fame that results from them, her life is all the more fascinating. Her visions have gained her and her community fame. But Sister John's visions are accompanied by powerful headaches, and when a doctor reveals that they may be dangerous, she faces a devastating choice. To make her decision, Sister John must re-examine her path to the cloistered life and test the strength of her most cherished beliefs. In this spare, affecting novel, Salzman creates a compelling portrait of faith and the interior life.

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