Archive for the ‘End-of-Life’ Category
Renato the Painter by Eugene Mirabelli is a fictional memoir about a contemporary painter living in the Boston area. The novel starts when Renato is just days old, a foundling, and continues to the present time, when he is in his 70â€™s. Renato is a man with a fierce pride in his art, unrepentant sexual appetites and strong personal loyalties. He is very dissatisfied with his status in the art world, feeling that the art world has left him behind. He hasnâ€™t had a gallery show in some time and is getting depressed about his prospects. His family life is complicated.
The simple plotting of Larry Watsonâ€™s Let Him Go â€“ the quest of Margaret and George Blackridge to reclaim their young grandson, who lives with his mother and rotten-to-the-core stepfather â€“ belies the strong emotional impact of this exquisitely powerful book.
BLUE NIGHTS is ostensibly about the loss of a child. In reality, however, it is about the passing of time. Indeed, it is the passing of time that captures all loss, loss of children, of loved ones, and ultimately, of self. It is the classic Heritclitian flow and Ms. Didion has here given herself to it fully, embracing every ripple, bend and eddy. With superhuman strength she resists fighting the current. She does not emote. She does not wax sentimental. Rather she turns her hard-edged and beautiful prose squarely upon her subject matter–as she always has done–and sets to work. Yet even she wonders if the manner in which she practices her art is up for the task.
So here I was yesterday, pounding my treadmill, reading Sebastian Barry’s new novel, alternately sobbing and laughing aloud at the sheer magnificence of it, reveling in the exuberant brilliance of his writing. Admittedly, exertion at the gym calls forth such strong reactions, but the book had touched me quietly already with its first pages upon waking, and would retain its hold through the limpid ambiguity of its final paragraphs, read before going very late to bed. Yes, I finished it in a single day; I could not help myself.
September 18, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 20th-Century, Immigration-Diaspora, Time Period Fiction, War Story Â· Posted in: End-of-Life, Facing History, Literary, World Lit, y Award Winning Author
I can honestly say that I have not read a book so evocative of place and time since reading anything by Faulkner.
May 27, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Bellevue, Identity, Maine, Memory, Nature Â· Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Debut Novel, End-of-Life, Literary, NE & New York, Pulitzer Prize, y Award Winning Author
The thirteen stories in the collection BULLFIGHTING from Irish author Roddy Doyle examine various aspects of male middle age. Eight of these stories first appeared in New Yorker, and in this volume the post-boom stories collectively offer a wry, bittersweet look at the years past and the years yet to come. We see middle-aged men whose wives have left them, middle-aged men whose children have grown and gone, stale marriages, marriages which have converted lovers into friends, the acceptance of disease and aging, and the ever-looming aspect of mortality. Lest I give the wrong impression, these stories are not depressing–instead through these marvellous stories Doyle argues that middle age brings new experiences and new emotions–just when we thought weâ€™d experienced all that life had to offer.