Friday, May 27, 2005


Last night I fell in love with an old Jewish man by the name of Leo Gursky. I fell in love with his "apartment full of shit," and the poor ruined body he exposes before an art class just because he wants to be seen before he dies. I fell in love with his stained underwear, and his childhood friend, Bruno, who weeps easily, and has hair like dandelion fluff, and with his tenacious devotion to a girl who married someone else fifty years earlier.

Last night something happened that hasn't occurred in a while, but it's the thing that keeps readers cruising, searching, questing with the same battered hope that propels singles in and out of bars. I opened a book and fell in love. To anyone who's read it, you probably recognize the character I'm talking about, and have situated his novel home. It's 'The History of Love,' a novel I previously suspected of being overhyped and overpraised. Well, this morning, still slightly drunk on Leo Gursky, I'm here to say it's neither.

The author, Nicole Krauss is not only young, beautiful, and married to literary luminary, Jonathan Safran Foer, she's also freaking brilliant. Tell me; is life fair? Well, we won't get into that. But the thing is, I'm so in love with Leo that envious as I may be, I begrudge his creator nothing.

"This History of Love" is a wonderful story, narrated by a wonderful character in a strong, clear voice; it is also the best kind of book a writer can read. Only fifty pages into it, I wanted to leap out of my bed at 2 a.m. and go to my computer to work on my own neglected novel.

Fifty pages into it and already gushing? you say. And you're right, of course. I should wait until I finish the book before I start spouting opinions. But unfortunately, people in love are not known for their prudence.

Undoubtedly, there will be more on this subject later.


rdl said...

well you got me intrigued, can't wait to read it.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Wow. Sold. I'm looking for this book. And no, life is rarely fair. Sadly.

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