Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True

When I went to a reading by Brigid Pasulka, I was captivated by her dry humor, and by her whimsical portrayal of a Polish village pre-WWII.

When I bought her novel A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True, I told her it reminded me of Everything is Illuminated--the way the storyline moves between grandparents living in a village that glows with a golden but imperfect light, that has a fairytale feel, and grandchildren struggling with the aftermath of the war and the weight of their family's sorrows--and she said she was flattered.

When I biked home through that October night, the book strapped to the back of my bike, I was hit by a car and the book went flying across the pavement.

When I read Pasulka's novel in December, I was caught by synchronicities--it was New Year's Eve while I read the part of the book that takes place on New Year's Eve; inside the book things were bleak and gray, outside the book things were white and gray; the main character--a young woman recently moved to Krakow from the village, trying to make a life after communism and capitalism have had their way with Poland--felt the way I've felt off and on since moving to Moscow.

When I read Pasulka's novel, I found phrases like głupia panienka just waiting to roll off my tongue.

When I read the ending, I cried.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to read this book.

    Also, NEW BACKGROUND. So vibrant, so orange, so... bookish. It was a bit of a shocker, opening your page. But it's nice. A bit more feisty than the mellow lichen green.