One has to brace oneself before reading The Underground Railroad. Like all books on slavery, this novel painfully recreates the worst acts of violence committed by slavers, slave-owners and slave catchers. After each book on slavery, you think that you've read the worse of what the worst humans are capable of, but then another book pops up … Continue reading The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead: a long walk to freedom?
"Even now, however, she was not always happy. She had everything she wanted, but still she felt, at times, that there were other things she might want if she knew about them." The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton. Here are described Undine Spragg's insatiable desires, extending their claws of avidity towards things she cannot … Continue reading The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton:
In the midst of a heat wave, during the summer 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony secretly witnesses a scene involving her older sister Cecilia, their childhood friend, Robbie, a fountain and near-nakedness. Unable to understand the signs of this scene, the little girl gives free rein to her wild imagination, convinces herself that she needs to protect her sister … Continue reading Atonement, by Ian McEwan: fiction writing, an impossible expiation.
It takes strong will, and frankly, stubbornness, to gulp down Zadie Smith like a mere soda, instead of sipping it like the fine wine it is. So it is that I didn't, in the end, "speed re-read" Zadie Smith as I had intended to, because On Beauty deserves more than that. Zadie Smith's third novel is set … Continue reading On Beauty, Zadie Smith: the conflicting ethics of beauty
The word "Pachinko", in Korean, designates a sort of pinball machine or slot machine and it is hardly incidental if Min Jin Lee chose this word for the title of her 2017 novel. Pachinko is a story in which money, or lack of, occupies a central place; it is also a story about choices: characters defying Fate with bold … Continue reading Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee: a family’s story enmeshed in a history of war and racism