For the month of December I’ll continue reading mostly nonfiction, as I did last month for Nonfiction November, but I’m planning to narrow my focus to a set of weekly themes so that I might read more efficiently ahead of an anticipated move sometime in January.
Our memories select, eliminate, exaggerate, minimize, glorify, denigrate. They create their own versions of events and serve up their own reality. Disparate, but cohesive. Imperfect yet sincere.
—Négar Djavadi, Disoriental
A raw, honest treatment of the problems they faced every day would only end in frustration at the absence of solutions, making it impossible to arrive at places one could only reach in books.
—Yoko Tawada, The Emissary
Weekly updates and mini reviews of fiction shortlisted for the National Book Award: Jamel Brinkley’s A Lucky Man, Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend, Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights, and Domenico Starnone’s Trick.
Set in a village on the outskirts of Norway, Hanne Ørstavik’s Love tracks the lonesome paths a single mother and her young son take over the course of a single winter’s night.
I first came across Marguerite Duras during my first year of undergrad, in a comp lit course centering on global coming-of-age narratives dealing with trauma. The class was one of my favorites, and Duras was one of the first writers I came across in college whose work I actually enjoyed reading.
The books I’m reading over the weekend, all on the NBA shortlists, range from a collection of short stories set in Florida to a novella about a single mom who recently has moved to a quiet village in northern Norway.