Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Day

I had been up about ten minutes this morning when Amilynne called me. Which was pretty funny, since I always worry about calling too early and waking her up. I thought it was pretty good that she figured I would be awake before 9am on a Saturday.

After greetings, she quickly got down to business. She had gotten up at some unholy hour of the early morning (2am? 3am? - hours when it is appropriate to go to bed, not to get up) because she was reading a book and she was dying to have someone with whom to discuss it. The book is In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin. All Amilynne had to say was that it is Jhumpa Lahiri-good (if you haven't read her yet, start with Interpreter of Maladies), and I downloaded it to my Kindle (my awesome new Kindle 2.0!) and have spent the day reading.

Oh, it has been lovely, lovely prose, delightful characterization, rich descriptions, entertaining allusions. But it has been sad. The book is an interlocking series of short stories set in Pakistan, and no one is very happy, and those that do become very happy then become devistatingly, destructively unhappy, and everyone seems to be either a manipulator or a manipulated. And the first few stories, that was great, but every story like this, and all stories different, portraying different views of a multilayer society, and it is very overwhelming.

And that's where I am now. A couple of hours ago, I finished Lily, the penultimate story, and it has absolutely shredded me up. My brain feels dead and I don't want to breathe. I had to stop. And there's one more to go, and I just don't know whether it will also kill me a little inside, or what my state will be when I am done with it.

Here is a song for Lily.

Dave Matthews Band - The Dreaming Tree

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