What are your Rumblr editors reading this week? Well…
Molly: I’m on day three of Home by Marilynne Robison, a writer whose prose is magnetic as it is (often) still, quiet, circumspect. Unlike Gilead, which I remember as a kind of beautiful dream of small town Iowa, Home, it’s sort-of sequel,rankles me. Its not the writing, which is as lovely and (against all odds) riveting as I remember: it’s the characters. The Reverend Boughton does not have the scholarly, lonely charm of his best friend and Gilead's narrator, Ames, and I've decided I dislike him. (His indifference to the violence inflicted on civil rights protesters in Montgomery was the last nail in the coffin.) All of the quiet brooding that goes on in the Boughton household makes me want to scream. In a good way.
Claire: I’m (finally) reading Alice Munro’s new collection, Dear Life, and I am so absorbed by these tough and lovely stories about women living their lives, watching and waiting and doing things they can’t explain. I’m NOT reading Game of Thrones, but I got stuck carrying around my friend’s copy yesterday, and everyone on the subway kept trying to talk to me about it. Subway strangers never want to talk about Alice Munro and I’m annoyed about this (everyone should want to talk about Alice Munro!) but also, mostly, so grateful to be left alone with these stories.
Lucy: I’m reading Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto. It’s slim and spare, but I am trying mightily to savor it. While writing Kitchen in the late 80s, Yoshimoto, like her protagonist Mikage, worked in the kitchen of a well-regarded Tokyo restaurant. The novel was an immediate success and sparked “Bananamania” throughout Japan and beyond. I was not reading chapter books in time to witness this phenomenon, but I can believe it. When her grandmother dies and she is left without any family, Mikage moves in with a Yuichi, a young friend of her grandmother’s, and his transgender mother Eriko. Love blossoms amid numerous instances of tragedy and many a nighttime experiment with the household juicer.