Saturday 29 May 2021

Thursday 20 May 2021

Deborah Levy, Real Estate

As I always do, I have loved reading Deborah Levy's newest book, Real Estate, the third in her Living Autobiography trilogy. Reading Levy feels like catching up with an old friend, or parts of myself that may have become inaccessible for a while, but am always pleased to see return. 

Real Estate has certainly given me the travel bug (especially after this year of staying close to home), as she describes her adventures in India, Paris and Greece, where she writes, connects with people, and reflects on her own place/legacy/character in the world. She weaves in Bachelard and Marguerite Duras amongst others, as she contemplates the home, interior space and the objets we fill them with, and fantasises about her unreal estate, including a property with an egg-shaped fireplace and a pomegranate tree. 

Levy is also hilarious and never fails to crack me up. I so enjoy her moments of snark as well as her flaneuse wandering and sense of discovery. Her passion for swimming as a means to feel connected to the world, nature and her body is one I share deeply and have missed terribly during the pandemic. My heart is warmed (again) and I find old parts of myself anew and dream of swims in the sea, hopefully in the near future. 

Sunday 9 May 2021

Avni Doshi, Burnt Sugar

An incredible novel about conflicted motherhood/womanhood, inherited trauma/madness/memories, the unreliability of memory and experience, the need and urge to cling to that which is destructive for us, social norms and pretending, visibility/invisibility, art (primarily drawing) as recollection/documentation/interpretation/transformation/forgetting and much more. 

An honest, extraordinary, relatable, and troubling story that forces the reader (and narrator) to live with a lack of clarity and strong hold on reality as generations—mothers and daughters—are merged and bisected time and again in efforts to unite and link as well as separate and distinguish.

Saturday 8 May 2021

Female perspective magical realism

Two haunting, magical realist, female perspective collections of short stories that I've read close together recently. 

Both evoke ghosts, unseeable/unspoken presences, mythical collisions with reality, community folk tales, complex and conflicted motherhood, the grotesque and the abject.