The Blind Owl, by Sadegh Hedayat

Certain stories really stick in my head and haunt/influence me for years. This could be one of them. The story of how this book was translated, told in the preface to the book, was an interesting read in itself. Apparently the story was banned in Iran for many years, and there were several censored and …

The Emigrants, W.G. Sebald

Much like the others I've read by this author, this book deals heavily with memory, loss, and--more directly than the others--the holocaust.¬† The narrator recounts his experiences with four characters, in four sections of the book. Each character is an emigrant from Germany, and each, in some way, seems to want to forget some aspect …

Context is very powerful

I've been teaching myself Spanish for the past six weeks or so, and am at the point where I can read very simple fiction such as the stories in this book, which are designed specifically for beginners, and use only simple, common words and phrases. Although I don't know all the words, and am still …

Vertigo, by W.G. Sebald: A dark view on memory

This book is about memory. But similar to the other Sebald novel I've read, Rings of Saturn, the true meaning of the book was not clear to me until the end. The novel features an unnamed narrator who may or may not be Sebald himself, traveling about Europe and reminiscing (also similar to Rings of …

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Besides being a great story with amazingly developed characters that are intriguing to watch change over the course of the novel (well... most of them change...), this novel pointed out the giant blind spots I have about the world beyond my door step, and has encouraged me to seek out books that feature other cultures …