Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category
ALENA is a novel about the art world and the people who inhabit it. It is said to be an homage to du Maurier’s Rebecca. However, not having read Rebecca in no way took anything away from my love of this novel. This novel stands on its own and I loved it.
Dubravka Ugresic’s new collection of cultural essays deal, primarily, with “Nostalgia,” the title of her first piece.
Ms. Ugresice is a Croatian, formally a Yugoslavian, who now lives in Amsterdam.
Her essays delve into politics, history, popular US, Yugoslavian and European culture from the 1950′s to the 21st century, as well as her own thoughts and flights of fancy. She is branded a “Yugonostalgnic,” by many of her fellow countrymen and women. This is a derogatory term, a synonym for those who long for the days of the Yugoslavia of yore under the reign of Tito; dinosaurs who look back fondly to the slogan “brotherhood and unity.”
The main character of this novel, Jeff Attman, is a globe trotting art critic and journalist. But he hates his job, even hates writing, which can pose a problem for a print journalist. He keeps at it because it affords him the opportunity to use an expense account to do what he really loves: drink, take recreational drugs, chase women, drink more, occasionally exercise his rapier wit, use more drugs. You get the idea. He is fun loving and intelligent. He is a kick, the type of guy whose company you would probably enjoy, albeit in limited measures.
The very first page of Colm Toibinâ€™s new novel, BROOKLYN, sets the stage beautifully: In Enniscorthy, a small town in Ireland, Eilis Lacey looks out the window as her more glamorous sister, Rose, returns from a game of golf with her professional acquaintances. Rose has an important job, provides for the family and is the arbiter of most conversations the homely Eilis shares with her mother. When Eilis looks out the window, itâ€™s as if an adoring child is watching a parent return home. So it comes as no surprise when…
August 13, 2009
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Immigration-Diaspora, Ireland, Irish Â· Posted in: Costa Award (Whitbread), Europe, Family Matters, Literary, Man Booker Nominee, New York City, World Lit