On Beauty, Zadie Smith: the conflicting ethics of beauty

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

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Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee: a family’s story enmeshed in a history of war and racism

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

The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka: shattering “the single story”

[Version française ci-dessous] The Buddha in the Attic is a novel I picked up from the shelf because its title intrigued me and when I read that it told the story of Japanese immigrants to the United-States in the first part of the XX° century, I bought it without thinking twice. I practice a Japanese buddhism so … Continue reading The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka: shattering “the single story”

The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri: accidents, immigration and identity

My balcony, my cherries and I just finished reading for the second time Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel, The Namesake. Although this second reading has revealed some flaws in the novel (minor inconsistencies, some events I found difficult to believe in), it has left me the same sweet and melancholy feeling than when I first read … Continue reading The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri: accidents, immigration and identity