Thursday, January 24, 2013

Top 10 books that began as speech

Sheila Heti latest novel, How Should a Person Be?, is structured on transcribed dialogues between her and her friends.

One of her top ten books that began as transcribed speech, as told to the Guardian:
Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexivich

I have read few books as devastating as this. Alexivich interviewed victims of the 1986 nuclear disaster, and from the fragmentation of voices – like shards of glass, swept into a pile – one comes to see that human oversight can be more scary and destructive even than human evil. The first monologue is spoken by a woman whose husband worked at the reactor, and whom she insisted on tending to as he died a gruesome death over two weeks. The nurses plead with her to stay away from him: "That's not a person anymore, that's a nuclear reactor. You'll just burn together."
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue