I’m sitting at home, on my couch, with my back in knots. I’m pretty miserable, thanks to the rain and the cold. However, I have my perfect pillow, a warm blanket, and a great book – plus three kittehs – keeping me company, so it could be worse.
I have finished my final project for my class, so all I have left is my “exam” which is basically all of us sitting in our room together (with a potluck no less!) and critiquing each others work. Sounds like a blast, right? This also means I am read to read and blog and be NORMAL for a month or so. Yes, yes, that means I am taking another class next semester. The class? It’s called BOOKS AND IMAGES. I shit you not. I CANNOT WAIT.
Anyhoo, in the meantime:
I’m reading An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine. I’m not sure where I first heard of it; most likely Litsy. I got a sample of it sent to my Kindle and took a gander after I finished my last book, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel. What a complete change of pace! I was hooked from the first page of AUW however. The main character, a 72-year-old Beruiti woman who lives alone with an untold number of books, isn’t something I can just look away from. Introverted Aaliya lives alone in her apartment, surrounded by books and loneliness. In telling her story, in the first person, it’s easy to find her voice grating and standoffish. She doesn’t let the reader in easily. She is old. She is lonely. She is unnecessary to her family, her neighbors, and her city. At least, she feels that way.
I’m not so sure she is.
I’m a little over halfway though, so it remains to be seen. I can’t put it down so it shouldn’t be long until I finish. I mean, with gems like these?
“I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time.”
“I consider it a shame that most contemporary American writing seems informed more by Hemingway, the hero of adolescent boys of all ages and genders, than by the sui generis genius of letters, Faulkner. A phalanx of books about boredom in the Midwest is lauded (where the Midwest lies is a source of constant puzzlement to me, somewhere near Iowa, I presume), as are books about unexplored angst in New Jersey or couples unable to communicate in Connecticut. It was Camus who asserted that American novelists are the only ones who think they need not be intellectuals.” <—BAHAHAHA sorry. But they haven’t met Franzen.
I also started the audio of Mort(e) by Robert Repino. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a post-apocalyptic novel told through from the viewpoint of a former spayed housecat named Mort(e) (nee Sebastian). I’m not sure I could stand reading the book with all those Mort(e)s to wade through but the audio is fantastic. Why did it take me this long to get Bronson Pinchot a chance? I guess I was afraid he would sound like Balki. Big mistake. His reading is a thing of beauty. And this novel of war and friendship and loyalty and love is pressing so many of my buttons. I think I’ll go listen to some more now.