Monday, August 2, 2010
I haven't been reading as much lately (bad Melissa), BUT I saw something interesting today as I flipped through the t.v. channels: a trailer for a new movie based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. The movie stars Emma Stone (Superbad, Zombieland) who pretends to lose her virginity in order to advance a gay friend's popularity. Because high schoolers are the MEANEST individuals on earth, they instantly begin to chastise Olive for her promiscuity. Olive combats the harassment by proudly displaying a red "A" on her chest.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I’ve decided to take on some of Murakami’s works. I’m really interested in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but it’s just too damn long. I was afraid of such an undertaking considering I’ve never read this author before, so I decided to test the waters with Norwegian Wood, which is far shorter.
The book takes place in Japan during the 1960’s. Toru is a college student who is romantically involved with two very different girls, Midori and Naoko. He has a strange history with Naoko—she dated Toru’s best friend since childhood, but then he commits suicide. Naoko is a character who is "beautifully broken"--mentally fragile, the kind of girl you just want to hold. She is unable to deal with her pain and begins to live in a colony where people try to heal themselves through farmwork, simple routine, and exercise. The patients and doctors are almost indistinguishable from each other. The place sounds like a kind of awesome Utopia. Scenes between this colony and “the real world” with Midori are very unsettling. Murakami plays with the reader’s sense of reality, and at times it is difficult whether things are happening only in Toru’s mind or in actuality.
I particularly liked the book’s characters, especially Midori. She’s an absolute gem. I don’t remember the last time I’ve liked a character so much. Perhaps it was because I loved Midori so intensely, but Toru came off as a bit of an ass sometimes.
I think I will definitely read some more Murakami. I’m always hesitant about reading translations…I know that it’s irrational, that translations are usually good, but there’s always a part of me that’s thinking, “but that’s not the EXACT word the author wanted to use!” However, I have heard that Murakami’s English translations are fantastic, and after reading Norwegian Wood I would have to agree.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
But here is the question: given my love of both fashion and literature, will these shoes prompt me to reconsider my less-than-adoring opinion of Hemingway? Until they make a women's line and lower the price from $235, I'm afraid not. I think I'll just check out his books from the library and buy my shoes from Target.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Congratulations to Neil Gaiman for recently winning the Carnegie Medal (the U.K.'s most prestigious prize in Children's Literature) for his novel The Graveyard Book. I've heard so many great things about The Graveyard Book, and I'm looking forward to picking up a copy one of these days. The book is about a toddler who wanders into a graveyard where ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Monday, June 28, 2010
The New Yorker's Summer Fiction Issue features twenty talented young writers who "capture the inventiveness and the vitality of contemporary American fiction." You can find the writers here, as well as read their Q. & A.'s and links to their winning stories. I was thrilled to see that both Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Everything is Illuminated, Eating Animals) and his wife, Nicole Strauss (Man Walks Into a Room and The History of Love), made the cut. They are two of my favorite authors, and definitely represent "inventiveness" and originality in their works as well as simply beautiful prose. Strauss' Q.& A. is particularly interesting because she provides some insight into her new book Great House, which will be published this October. Her winning story, "The Young Painters" is an excerpt from this novel. Definitely read it if you have a few minutes to spare!