“This is not a book about the great Austrian physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann, nor, despite its importance in my life, is it about Antarctica. It is more about time and chance and the images and dreams we bring with us from childhood which shape who we are and what we become. It is about science and atoms and starry nights and what we think we remember, though we have made it up.”
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
World War I was the deadliest conflict in Western history, but contemporary portrayals of war in literature and cinema primarily focus on examples of combat from the past fifty or sixty years. At a time when the Great War is receding into the annals of distant history, this elegiac and edifying novel has been released–a small, slim but powerful story of a young soldier, Josef Vinich, who hails from a disenfranchised and impoverished family in rural Austria-Hungary.
May 25, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: Bellevue, Mining, Real Event Fiction, Time Period Fiction, War Story, WWI Â· Posted in: Austria, Coming-of-Age, Debut Novel, Facing History, Reading Guide, US Frontier West, World Lit
There is a legend of the thorn bird; as it impales itself and dies, it rises above its own agony to outsing the nightingale and the whole world stills to listen. As humans face death â€“ our own or our most beloved â€“ the best writers have the ability to rise up and eloquently sing. I speak, of course, of Joan Didion in THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, of Francisco Goldman in SAY HER NAME, of David Vann in LEGEND OF A SUICIDE. And now, Michelle Latiolais takes her place in that very top tier of talented writers.
Ms. Latiolais masterly interweaves stories of life after her husband Paulâ€™s death with other tales: the complex eroticism experienced by a woman visiting a male strip club with her lover, the trials of traveling to Africa with an anthropologist husband who is researching the unusual eating habits of aboriginals, young children who entice an ancient aunt to craft shapes out of moistened bread crumbs. In a few sparse words, she is able to capture a deep and complex emotion.