High As the Waters Rise - by Anja Kampmann,
Anna Posten (translator)
It’s pretty well-established in these parts that I’m really
not that into plot. Give me language that aspires to
something beyond even a story -- but to a moment in
time, to a depth of emotion, etc. Kampmann’s debut novel
is about love, meaning it circulates through and around it
by way of language. I loved it.
The Book of Unconformities - by Hugh
Faced with profound grief, Hugh Raffles
reached out for … not solace, or maybe even
understanding, but ballast by thinking about
the solidity and endurance and possibly plain
old indifference of rocks.
An Inventory of Losses - by Judith Schlansky,
Jackie Smith (Translated by)
Much of living seems like an accumulation of losses.
That’s depressing, in a way. But there is something to the
accounting. There is, if nothing, but the grasping, if for
but a moment, the time it takes to do so. Anyway … Judith
Schlansky’s latest work, an exquisite grasping of what
refuses it, is phenomenal.
Floating Coast - by Bathsheba Demuth
This is the perfect sort of nonfiction for the reader who,
like me, believes topics are not stable, steady-state
objects. History has happened, but what has happened is
not static, and is in fact always still happening.
Bathsheba Demuth’s account of the history of the
Bering Strait, for example, is a stunning example of this.
Not at all a topic I thought I was interested in … but
sometimes it’s a joy to be wrong.