Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Adventures in Reading

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

Fault Lines, by Nancy Huston, Grove Press
The story sweeps from 1945, where a young girl, Kristina, stolen as a baby from the Ukraine, is living with what she thinks is her real German family during the collapse of Germany. Narrated by children from four generations of the same family, the book traces their history back through the years, from California to New York, from Haifa to Toronto and Munich. Canadian-born Huston won the Prix Femina, one of France's most prestigious literary prizes, for this book.

Doctor Glas, by Hjalmar Soderberg, Knopf
Set over four months of a stifling Stockholm summer, it takes the form of the journal of the eponymous doctor. He is a man who, 'at past 30 years of age, [has] never been near a woman'. One day, the beautiful Mrs Gregorious comes to his surgery. She is the much younger wife of the loathsome Pastor Gregorious, a man she married out of a misplaced sense of religious duty, and whose insistence on his marital 'rights' has become unbearable to her. She begs Glas for his help.

Letter from Casablanca, by Antonio Tabucchi. New Directions Publishing Corp.
Tabucchi does not want to give answers to the reader but to ask questions of the reader. Tabucchi says that "doubts are like stains on a shirt. I like shirts with stains, because when I’m given a shirt that’s too clean, one that’s completely white, I immediately start having doubts. It’s the job of writers to cast doubt on perfection. Perfection spawns doctrines, dictators and totalitarian ideas."

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