Archive for the ‘Coming-of-Age’ Category
Miles Adler-Rich is a precocious teen-ager, very much upset by the changes in his family. His parents have recently divorced and his mother has taken up with a new boyfriend named Eli Lee. Eli says he works for the National Science Foundation and professes to love Miles’s mother, Irene, very much. However, there is something about Eli that seems off to Miles.
The greatest gift that any writer can give her readers is providing them with a fictional world they can immerse вЂ“ and ultimately lose вЂ“ themselves in.
ThatвЂ™s precisely what Meg Wolitzer achieves in THE INTERESTINGS, surely the most fully-realized and satisfying book of her career.
This panoramic saga focuses on a group of Baby Boomers from the time they meet at a camp for the creatively gifted as teenagers through middle age. The bond that draws these divergent characters together is powerful and special; they dub themselves вЂњThe Interestings.вЂќ And the bond, for the most part, is stretched, sustained, and redefined as they age.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is a “love story” for our current teen/young adult generation. Like any love story, it is kind of “cheesy” … but not one easy to put down. And it is smart. I liked it a whole lot better than Love Story because it is cynical/realistic and its setting is far more accessible than the Ivy league town of Cambridge, Massachusetts and a star cross relation between rich kid and poor kid.
BREWSTER reads like a melancholy ballad sung by Leonard Cohen, Dylan, or Bruce Springsteen. It’s like driving down a remote, one-lane dark road surrounding a black reservoir, the starless sky doomy and vast. You are headed toward a forgotten city. Now and then a beacon in the distance blinks like a metronomic eye. Brewster is a static town in upstate New York, where it always feels like winter, “weeks-old crusts of ice covering the sidewalks and the yards, a gray, windy sky, smoke torn sideways from the brick chimneys.”
The above opening line pulled me immediately into Mia Couto’s novel, The Tuner of Silences; it raised questions for me from the beginning and these didn’t let me go until the end. Mwanito, the narrator, reflecting back on the early years of his life, recounts his experiences while living in the company of three men and his slightly older brother in a remote campside in a semi-desert. Couto, an award-winning Mozambican author, has written a novel that is part coming of age story, part family drama and part a kind of love story.
February 3, 2014
В· Judi Clark В· No Comments
Tags: Biblioasis, Identity, love, Mia Couto, Mozambique В· Posted in: Africa, Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Family Matters, Neustadt Intl Prize, World Lit, y Award Winning Author
How do a century-old modern-thinking Buddhist nun, a WW II kamikaze pilot, a bullied 16-year-old Japanese schoolgirl on the verge of suicide, her suicidal father, a struggling memoirist on a remote island of British Columbia, Time, Being, Proust, language, philosophy, global warming, and the 2011 Japanese tsunami connect?
In this brilliantly plotted and absorbing, layered novel, one can find the theme in a quote from Proust, quoted by Ozeki:
“In reality, every reader, while he is reading, is the reader of his own self.”