NauenThen

3 books

September 10, 2015

Tags: Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Bishop, Colm Tóibín, Francine Prose

I finished 3 good books in the last day or 2:
= Prudence and Jane, by Barbara Pym, the great observer of English life and human foibles. I haven't decided whether I have to ration her or not. It's possible I could reread any of her novels with as much pleasure as I got the first time through.
= On Elizabeth Bishop, by Colm Tóibín. Short & insightful. I haven't been reading much poetry other than hers this summer, & it was great to live her work with this smart Irish novelist.
= Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose. It's taken me months to finish because she sent me (back) to many of the writers she talks about: Katherine Mansfield, Chekhov, Joyce, & lots of others. She points out techniques that it would be easy to miss, and is undogmatic: Every time she finds herself formulating a rule, she almost immediately finds a brilliant, convincing exception.

Cauliflower Heads

July 15, 2014

Tags: Francine Prose

"She was happiest in Umbria and the spookier parts of Tuscany, where you felt the romance these people craved was not the romance of love but the romance of poisoning each other with undectable toxins."

This sentence by Francine Prose makes me feel that if I'd written it, I could eat bonbons for the rest of my life.

I bet she doesn't feel that way at all.