Month: June 2005

Reminder: Roberge Reads @ Reading Frenzy

I’m signing off for the week. The one and only Randa Jarrar guest blogs on this site tomorrow and every Friday. But if you’re in Portland and would like to check out a cool reading, then join us tomorrow night to welcome Rob Roberge, who will be at Reading Frenzy at 7 pm. Details here and below:

Friday July 1st, 7pm
More Than They Could Chew: Rob Roberge & The Violent Rays
Reading, Signing & Live Music
Reading Frenzy
921 SW Oak
Portland, 97205
503 274 1449

Come by and say hello!

Where The Novelist’s Marriage Precedes Her Work

Culled from Tuesday night’s Open Source radio show, about summer reading recommendations, where our good friend Maud was one of the guests:

Caller: I have been recommending a book to everybody I know and I often find it hard to recommend something without qualifying it, and this is one of those that I don’t need to qualify. It’s Alison Kraus’s book called The History of Love.

Host #1: Alison Krauss. You know. Er. What do I know about her? She’s married to somebody. She’s married to…

Caller: She is. She’s…um…Oh, I forget his name.

Host #2: Peter… I mean… David Mamet?

Host #1: (Sigh of frustration)

Maud (unable to restrain herself): She’s married to Jonathan Safran Foer. I think her first name is Nicole. And it is an exquisite book.

Host #1: (surprised) You, you know the book!

Maud: I do, I do.

Host #1: Tell us about it.

There you have it. Poor Nicole Krauss’s marital condition precedes any kind of recognition of her book or her person.

Writers You Should Be Reading

The Guardian asked 10 literary critics to recommend 10 ‘overseas’ writers. I loved that Maya Jaggi picked Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo. Here’s what she’s said about him:

Exiled from Franco’s Spain and still living in Marrakech, Juan Goytisolo is Spain’s greatest living writer, and its most scathing iconoclast. His milestone Marks of Identity trilogy (1966-75), which began with an exile returning to Barcelona after the civil war, skewered political tyranny and Catholic repression to reclaim Spain’s long-buried Moorish and Jewish heritages. His bisexuality (explored in his masterpiece memoirs of the 1980s, Forbidden Territory and Realms of Strife), spurred his rejection of the church and Spain’s obsession with cultural “purity”. The Spanish civil war – in which his mother was killed – haunts his fiction, whether he uses it to evoke Lorca’s links with the Arab world (The Garden of Secrets, 1997) or the bombardment of Sarajevo and Baghdad (State of Siege, 1995).

At 74, Goytisolo is still passionate about Islamic culture (see his essays on the Muslim Mediterranean, Cinema Eden, 2003), and invaluable in his long view of the Muslim world’s ties with Europe. As he once told me, when Catalan was forbidden: “I realised that to have two languages and cultures is better than one; three better than two. You should always add, not subtract.”

And Dan Halpern puts in a recommendation for a Morocco-born author I’ve never heard of: Marcel Benabou.

Link via Conversational Reading.


News Topics