Today's short story treasures:
- From Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (which I did not finish last week after all): "This Blessed House." Mismatch and miscommunication are the themes for this Indian couple, married just four months and setting up house. Lahiri captures their differences with such humor. There's a resignation when they each realize just how mismatched they are. I can't wait to get her new book - coming soon to a bookshelf near me!
- From Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor: "Cheating at Canasta." A beautiful vignette of Mallory, an Englishman returning to a Venice restaurant to honor the request of his wife who has Alzheimer's. How is it I've never heard of this Irish author? I was drawn to this book by its title; canasta has a sentimental place in my heart, being the first "adult" card game I learned as a child. In a wonderful twist on the concept, Mallory cheats at the game so that his wife will win. More of Trevor is in my future.
- From Delicate: Stories of Light and Desire by Mary Sojourner: "Armageddon Coffee" - how could I resist that title? I "discovered" this writer several years ago with a couple of collections of her essays: Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest and Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire. She writes beautifully of sense of place and the environment in her essays and, as it turns out, also in her short stories. ...I see the perfect line of the Peaks against a brilliant midnight sky. I am using that pure beauty like I used to use Tanqueray.
- And what's short story day without one from The Portable Dorothy Parker. "You Were Perfectly Fine." She can say so much with so few words. Very funny.
This week I also finished Fifth Business by Robertson Davies and read one of Per Petterson's novels, In the Wake. He wrote Out Stealing Horses, one of my favorites last year. I hope to get reviews of both of these up in the next few days. I started reading Wild Life by Molly Gloss yesterday -- I really love it so far, but it's looking like it may trail into something bizarre. Like Sasquatch.
I've been spending far too much time futzing around with my blog. I feel like a finicky teenager, changing her clothes ten times before going out for the evening. I've gone from LiveJournal to Blogger to WordPress and back to Blogger, where I've tried out six or seven templates. I finally found a template here that I'm happy with, so the whole survey thing may be a moot point. I know, I ask for your opinion and then I ignore it. I am fond of this layout though, and have many more options for widgets and customizing here than I do at WordPress. So there.
I hope you're enjoying your Sunday - may you go into your week filled with good literature, peace of mind and much humor. Namaste'.