Sunday, July 11, 2010

What I Loved...

I like reading, and it is said that you should always break up your books with different authors. I don't listen to this advice. Its nonsense. Hence I get overly obsessive about certain authors, reading their books back to back, and Brooklyn based authors Paul Auster and his wife Siri Hustvedt have been bearing the brunt of this obsessiveness since 2008.

Auster has been hailed a 'master storyteller', which just sums him up perfectly. His novels are not based on a particular genre, such as crime or romance, so instead of major events, the reader is taken on a journey through characters thoughts and the postmodern ideal. He brings in psychological thoughts with his protagonists, in turn offering his various workings on the human mind in contemporary society. He latest book, for me, brought to light his unique style. Invisible draws on an incestral relationship between siblings. He is not going for shock tactics here, and it is hard to explain but I was not disgusted reading it - such is his understanding of the human mind, in all our inner desires and fetishes, that he makes it more about a general understanding of a taboo subject. Don't get me wrong! I am not about to go and sleep with my brother, but to convince me about how an improper relationship may come about just highlighted Auster's genius.

My picks for best examples:
Man in the Dark
The Brooklyn Follies
The book of Illusions
Oracle Night

Avoid - Timbuktu.
It is terrible.

Likewise his wife Siri Hustvedt, became a fast favourite of mine. I started with What I Loved, a story about two couples living and growing in NYC, and their relationships, and she had me sold from that point on. Finding out that she was married to Paul Auster not only made me smile, it made perfect sense. She comes from an art background, having written many essays on paintings (Mysteries of the Rectangle) and her knowledge of art comes through in her stories. Siri suffers from health issues, such as migraines - so the current one I am reading, The Shaking Woman - A History of my Nerves is about her anxious experiences in the past, her struggle to deal with them and her quest to understand them. My most favourite compilation of essays is A Plea to Eros where she looks into her relationships, as a mother, wife, and daughter.

So there you have it. If I get handcuffed by the NYPD for stalking, you will probably guess who it was.

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