My Book World
This one-hundred-fifty-seven-page novel is divided into forty-six titled chapters, all in the form of prepositional phrases indicating, as the title suggests, place. Whereabouts. On the Sidewalk. On the Balcony. In the Sun. At the Villa. Even Upon Waking. Waking is a place, after all. Only Lahiri could create so much life with so little. The first-person narrative is told by a female Italian professor of literature living, we assume, not in Rome but a smaller, less satisfying city. She shares, in bits like chocolates from fluted paper containers, her life. After an unsatisfactory relationship with a man (told in flashback), she prefers living alone, prefers being childless, prefers to visit her ailing mother once a week. She wavers only a little between her preferred solitude and connecting with others: her neighbors, her university pupils, favored merchants. It is a hard-won battle, but she seems to win it with dignity and poise. An immensely satisfying read.
TUES: A Writer's Wit | Linda Ellerbee
WEDS: A Writer's Wit | William Kennedy
THURS: A Writer's Wit | Jonathan Franzen
FRI: My Book World | Pat Conroy, The Great Santini