Sunday, October 21, 2012

What is Joan Wickersham reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Joan Wickersham, author of The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story.

Her entry begins:
Right now I’m reading a big Hungarian novel: The Book of Fathers, by Miklos Vamos. It’s a family chronicle – it begins around 1700, and each chapter is the story of the firstborn son of that generation – but “family chronicle” is too docile a description for a book that has this particular mixed flavor of character study, folktale, magical realism, humor, and sobering (sometimes terrible) glimpses of what is going on in Hungary during the character’s lifetime.

This book is wonderful. But for me, reading it is also an attempt to...[read on]
About The News from Spain, from the publisher:
From the author of the acclaimed memoir The Suicide Index, a virtuosic collection of stories, each a stirring parable of the power of love and the impossibility of understanding, much less controlling, it.

In these seven beautifully wrought variations on a theme, a series of characters trace and retrace eternal yet ever-changing patterns of love and longing, connection and loss. The stories range over centuries and continents—from eighteenth-century Vienna, where Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte are collaborating on their operas, to America in the 1940s, where a love triangle unfolds among a doctor, a journalist, and the president’s wife. A race-car driver’s widow, a nursing-home resident and her daughter, a paralyzed dancer married to a famous choreographer—all feel the overwhelming force of passion and renunciation. With uncanny emotional exactitude, Wickersham shows how we never really know what’s in someone else’s heart, or in our own; how we continually try to explain others and to console ourselves; and how love, like storytelling, is ultimately a work of the imagination.
Visit Joan Wickersham's website.

Writers Read: Joan Wickersham (January 2009).

Writers Read: Joan Wickersham.

--Marshal Zeringue