November Blues

WorldBookProject continues. Here are some thoughts about four books by women writers.

76 Belgium: Marguerite Yourcenar – Ich zähmte die Wölfin: Die Erinnerungen des Kaisers Hadrian (Mémoirs d’Hadrian)

It was fascinating to learn about some of the history of the Roman Empire as seen through the author’s eyes. However, the awfully convoluted sentences and antiquated vocabulary took the joy out of the reading experience a bit too often.

77 Guyana: Oonya Kempadoo – Buxton Spice

The book didn’t impress me. Growing up in 1970s Guyana must have meant sex, violence and a combination thereof. On top of that, I found the usage of written dialect rather tiring. Maybe listening to this as an audiobook might make me feel different about it – I like guessing dialects both in English and German, but dislike reading them in either language.

78 Lithuania: Jurga Ivanauskaitė – Placebo

The best thing about this book was the plot device of a cat talking to the ghost of the deceased character. Very often, the author steered on the funny and ironic side of things. But every now and then she crossed the line with a sledgehammer to wage war against consumerism and other vices of contemporary Lithuania. I could connect to the changes people experienced after the revolution, having lived through something similar myself.

79 Mexico: Carmen Boullosa – They’re Cows, We’re Pigs

We’re a few hundred years ago, on Tortuga. Forget about pirates sailing the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. The story, very well narrated by Ron Butler, describes the falling apart of a human being because of the cruelty and violence he’s subjected to himself and has to/ chooses to inflict on others. If one were to transfer the ideas of the main character into the now, I think it’d be fair to say that pretty much every soldier on this planet is a piece of broken flesh, and the same goes for their victims. This was a powerful book, and extremely hard to stomach.

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