Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Célestine Vaite's book picks

Célestine Vaite, the author of a trilogy about cleaning woman Materena Mahi ("the best listener in Tahiti") came up with an interesting list of books for The Week magazine.
Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff

This book was so meant to burst into my life. It enriched my Tahitian thinking right from the first page. Its long-suffering protagonist, Beth, fascinated me. I could see her in flesh and bones. Sometimes she was one of my cousins, other times, she was my mother.

Une Vie
(A Woman’s Life) by Guy de Maupassant

I was 11 when Sister Bernadette recommended I read this book. I instantly felt compassion for the heroine, Jeanne. What a sad life! I read the book again at 16 and discovered a new Jeanne. What a strong woman! I’ve been reading Une Vie every five years now and each time, Jeanne speaks to my heart differently.

In My Skin by Kate Holden

This memoir from an “ordinary” Australian woman, raised in an “ordinary” middle-class family, who became a heroin addict, prostitute, and survivor, is a haunting tale without self-pity. The writing is honest, direct, flawless, and deep.
Click here to read about the other books on Vaite's list.

The first two of Vaite's "Materena" novels, Frangipani and Breadfruit, have recently been published by Back Bay.

--Marshal Zeringue