So many people have asked me about what really happened? Which is funny. What happened is what’s on the page. The point is, what actually happened doesn’t matter because what matters is the boys and what the boys believe happened. What matters is that this group of boys focused their entire lives on someone else rather than on themselves…
There’s a double-think in Tea Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife. The doctors confront superstition and folk wisdom which is literally devouring people, since it prevents the undereducated from seeking the medical aid that could save the lives of their children. But then it’s as if TO turns over the fabric of her story and reveals the stitching on the other side, since folktales and village legends devour the realistic novel that I at first thought I was reading.
This book didn’t go the way I thought it would, I was thrown by the title, as hating someone is very serious. Sure, I hate people, some people, and they know it, and I think that kind of hate is a good thing, keeps things in perspective, which you’ve all heard before. But when I read this book, I thought it would be about a relationship that was piss and vinegar, don’t get me wrong, SaFranko certainly lays it out that way, but I thought it would be kitchen sink and all, it’s a slow burn, and flesh melting at that.
New this week, among other things:
-Paul Auster’s new novel Sunset Park, which takes a typically Austerian cast of characters through the financial crisis and wars in the middle east.
-Fated, by S. G. Browne, which sounds to me like a kinder gentler version of Robert Olen Butler’s scabrous Hell.
It’s like having Sam Clemens back with us again, resurfacing after 100 years to give us the once-over. I think he would have loved that idea and love the idea of creating such a stir with his avant garde Autobiography, the first part having just been released by the University of California Press. And it’s amazing that a writer 100 years ago can plan a century-delayed release with every confidence that it will come to pass and with the full support of his publisher who is willing to wait 100 years for the release date.