Friday, January 22, 2010
I have hit upon some great fiction for these cold winter Ohio nights. The Girl with Feet of Glass is a magical fairy tale on one level and complicated mystery on another. The fragile young heroine, Ida Maclaird, is a stranger in the icy bogland called St. Hauda's Land. She meets a local photographer, Midas Crooks, who struggles to help her when he learns that Ida is slowly turning to glass.
Monday, January 18, 2010
A lovely read. Ford uses a split narrative to alternate between Henry Lee's childhood in 1942 when he meets Keiko Okabe and 1986, when the Panama Hotel's cache of treasures from interred Japanese families becomes public. Henry is forced by his father to wear an "I am Chinese" button and his growing affection for Japanese Kieko creates family tensions. The two young teens are separated by the war, Henry finds a Chinese bride, but the years do not dull his longings for what might have been. The book is more sweet than bitter.
Friday, January 08, 2010
Viramontes came to speak last summer at the AP Literature and Composition grading session in Louisville, so I got to meet her and hear her speak about her fiction. I snagged a free copy of Under the Feet of Jesus at NCTE in Philadelphia back in November and read it on one January snow day. Viramontes writes about immigrant migrant workers and has been compared to Steinbeck for her commitment to Californian labor culture. This book is lovely and I was pleasantly surprised when is did not turn toward the tragic ending I foresaw.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Also a Christmas gift from David, these stories by Alice Munro offer a sharp contrast to Meloy's clipped plots. Munro weaves her stories - lots of detail, many characters, broad bands of time. I haven't really read much Munro, but I certainly understand why her fiction receives so much praise.