Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda

Death in Spring by  Mercè Rodoreda

Spanish Catalan fiction

Original title –  La mort i la primavera

Translator – Martha Tennet

Source – personnel copy

Well, I read the first of my post-holiday reads in a day. This book came out a few years ago in the US and earlier this year here as part of a new penguin series into European voices. Merce Rodoreda was considered one of the leading novelist of her time. her novel The time of the doves has been considered the greatest Catalan novel. She lived most of her life in Exile in France and Switzerland away from the Franco regime only returning later on in her life to Spain towards the end of the Franco years.

I craned my head out of the water. The light was stronger now, and I swam slowly, wanting to take my time before leaving the river. The water embraced me. It would have seized ,e if I had let it , and – pushed forward and sucked under- I would have ended up in the place where nothing is comprehended.Reeds grew in the river; the current bent them, and they let themselves be rocked by the water that was carrying the force of the sky, earth and smow.

The opening lines have that feel of nature cling to the people of the village .

Now I said this was a novella I wanted to read as I saw it as a male version of the book Stones in a landslide.Which was one of my favourite novels of all time. But this is a very different coming of age novel. This is a visceral novel of a boy becoming a man in a remote village that still clings to the past. There is like the scenery around the book vines and forest of death as it is called there is a sense of a world. Being caught out of time and maybe for our narrator, there is no way out of it. Nature captures people, like the dead body in the river. returned to the river.The bridges that never seem to be used a dense forest give the Narrators world a closed in feel. The other characters his father dying, his stepmother the Blacksmith and his odd son all give this a sense of the beauty and horror of nature. A boy becomes a man in a strange world a wonderful narrated world of mountain villages.

When they pulled the boy from the river, he was dead, the returned him to the river. Those who died in the water were returned to the water. The river carried them away and nothing was ever known of them again.But at night, at the spot where the bodies were thrown into the water, a shadow could be seen.Not every night. Not today or tomorrow, but on certain nights a shadow trembled,They said the shadow of the dead returned to the place where the man was born.They said that to die was to merge with the shadow.

I was so remind of Marquez with this lines and the river which in his books is a powerful prescense as well.

This is a novella that like many great shorter books seems much more than its parts. It is full of descriptions of the world around them at times this is maybe a metaphor for how Franco strangled the country. There is also for me an echo of the works of Marquez the village her is a Spanish cousin of Marquez’s Macondo village. The same sense of a place cling to its customs and superstitions of the outside world this is a world the character is trapped in like those vines and even if he escapes there is moss to slip on, bridges to cross and rivers to survive. Hope is always there but like a dim light in the valley below the village.

Advertisements

Holiday books a Mexican death and some great new books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I failed in reading Middlemarch, I didn’t actually read much on this holiday as I wanted to spend time with Amanda my in-laws and their foster baby who bless her she is only nine months old. It was a joy to see her experience, so much for the first time. It was also the first time since our Honeymoon eleven years ago. Amanda and I had returned to Torquay. Unfortunately, the restaurant where we had our meal on honeymoon in. We had hoped to return but it had gone in the years in between Which was a shame. But we did manage to take a steam train ride and a tour of a replica of the golden hind.Lots of nice meals and I couldn’t resist a few books along the way. When I decide after fifty pages of Middlemarch this maybe wasn’t the holiday read for me.But here are my book buys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waterstones in Torquay was the first bookshop. I found these two from not a great selection of translation. Well for someone that read as much as me there is not many that I hadn’t read but there was a few Georges Simenon and this the latest Maigret was one that was most interesting as the great man is looking back on a case he may have got wrong. The I have read nearly all my current Modiano books. This is the one I next wanted as I know Frank the translator really wanted to translate this book. It is his first three novels all link by being set during the occupation of France or the effects of that on people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then We visited Totnes and they have a great independent bookshop. In which I found these three gems. The day before happiness by Erri de Luca an orphan boy coming of age and his relationship with the guardian. It is also an ode the city of Naples where the book is set.Then I am really keen on this one Death in spring another coming of age novel of a teenage boy in the Catalan mountains. It reminded me of the great book Stones in the landslide which is also a coming of age tale. But a young woman in the Catalan mountains. Then A book by Arto Paasilinna, I loved his year of the Hare so hope this one is as interesting.It follows a man called Gunnar restoring a MIll in a small village but  Gunnar isn’t all he seems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I find an Oxfam shop hard to resist when I see one like the one in Totnes and here I found two old Penguin modern classic. Boris Pasternak’s Last summer came out long before Doctor Zhivago and heralds the last summer before world war on and the Russian revolution. Then a lesser know Faulkner work he is a writer I loved when younger but haven’t read for years and have been adding to my copies of his lesser known books. The Tove jansson this is her only novel and seems to have similar themes to her other adult books. The Noght wood a classic modernist novel that I have heard is quite a challenge to read. 

Then there was the sad news of the passing of Sergio Pitol. A writer who I have on my kindle after kindly been sent it by his Publisher Deep Vellum had passed so I felt as I had never got to this great man’s books. This trilogy is about his life and those writers he meets and what inspired him as a writer.I ordered these and they were here at home when I arrived home today off holiday.Also, I had three other books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I had these books at home Scenes from a childhood is a selection of Short stories from Jon Fosse the Norweigan writer is often cited as a future Nobel winner I reviewed him a few years ago Then Romain Gary last novel one of the great French writer and also a twice Goncourt winner the only one as he used an Alias to writer his other winner. Then last is The blind spot essay of fiction by Javier Cercas and the line between fact and fiction which is one his own books walk like a tightrope at times.

Happy Easter that was the month of March 2018

  1. The gold rimmed spectacles by Giorgio Bassani
  2. Carte Blanche by Carlo Lucarelli
  3. The dinner guest by Gabriela Ybarra
  4. Vernon Subutex by Virginie Despentes
  5. The white book by Han Kang
  6. Six Memos for the next millennium by Italo Calvino
  7. Die, my love by Ariana Harwicz

The White book by Han Kang

 

Image result for han kang white book cover

The White Book by Han Kang

Korean fiction

Original title – 흰

Translator – Deborah Smith

Source – personal copy

I must admit first up for me as a reader, I was never as swept away by the vegetarian as some other readers were. So when this Han Kang’s latest book was on the longlist ,I wasn’t maybe as keen to read this as some as the others on the longlist. This is the third book from Han Kang to be translated to English and was published in Korea in 2016. It is also a different book from the first two books as for me it is a narrative prose piece for me.

Faced with that question, it was this death that came to me. It was a story which I had grown up inside.The most helpless of all young animals. Pretty little baby, white as moon shaped rice cakes. How I’d been born and grown up in the place of that death.

“White as moon-shaped rice cake” which never made sense until at six, I was old enough to help out with making rice cakes for Chuseok, forming the dough into small crescent moons. Before being steamed, those bright white shapes of rice dough are a thing so lovely they do not seem of this world.

I loved this image of the rice moon and child’s face.

Now for me as an English reader the white book as a title seems less dark than if this book was called the Black book , but in a way that  should be the real title of the book. It is a series of small vignettes split into three sections that mainly focus on the birth of Han Kang’s older sister that was born and died after two hours after her mother 22 gave birth. A child that is described as looking like a rice moon cake when born the first section the vignettes seem to interlinking with a few recurring motifs in the prose pieces a list of white objects , but as the pieces unfold we see how white is never really white. From the child’s face to a moon rice to snow in all its forms from thick blizzards to sleet showers. An ode to a sister that was never known but also to the colour of mourning in Korea which is white and things connected to mourning in Korea like rice also the is a colour connection of Blood mention and the fact in Korea Red chilli powder is put in the rice at a funeral. A wonderful mix of piece that draw you as a reader into a young woman”s grief but also a poetic vision of grief and mourning.

sleet

There is none of us whom life regards with any partiality. Sleet falls as she walks these streets, holding this knowledge inside her. Sleet that leaves cheeks and eyebrows heavy with moisture, Everything passes. She bears this rememberance – the knowledge that everything she has clung to will fall away from her and vanish- through the streets where sleet falling, that is neither rain nor now, neither ice nor water, that dampens her eyebrows and steams from her forehead whether she stands still or hurries on closes her eyes or opens them

Such a poets mix of life and death in a vision of sleet.

I so pleased this has come after the vegetarian as anything after this would be a let down for me as a reader this book has a fragile nature like a pile of rice barely held together. It has a sense of the fragile nature of life the sense of grief of losing a daughter so early in ones own life. But also the poetic side of the list of white things that litter the book. The ones around snow I found so poetic the way sleet turns to water on contact with skin almost like the daughter life a brief moment of time this is about how brief life. This is a perfect choice of why I read world lit these books that open our eyes as readers to the wider world poetic visions and grief so

 

Man Booker international longlist

The Man Booker
International Prize 2018
Longlist Announced
#MBI2018
#FinestFiction
 The 13 longlisted books have been translated from 10 different languages, across
Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East
 Previous winners Han Kang (2016) and László Krasznahorkai (2015) are both on the
longlist
 Frank Wynne has two translations on the list: one from French and one from
Spanish
The Man Booker International Prize has today, Monday 12 March, revealed the ‘Man
Booker Dozen’ of 13 novels in contention for the 2018 prize, which celebrates the finest
works of translated fiction from around the world.
The prize is awarded every year for a single book, which is translated into English and
published in the UK. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible. The work of
translators is equally rewarded, with the £50,000 prize divided between the author and the
translator of the winning entry. In addition, each shortlisted author and translator will
receive £1,000 each. The judges considered 108 books.

The longlist

The full 2018 longlist is as follows:
Author (nationality) Translator Title (imprint)
Laurent Binet Sam Taylor The 7th Function of Language
(France) (Harvill Secker)
Javier Cercas Frank Wynne The Impostor
(Spain) (MacLehose Press)
Virginie Despentes Frank Wynne Vernon Subutex 1
(France) (MacLehose Press)
Jenny Erpenbeck Susan Bernofsky Go, Went, Gone
(Germany) (Portobello Books)
Han Kang Deborah Smith The White Book
(South Korea) (Portobello Books)
Ariana Harwicz Sarah Moses & Die, My Love
(Argentina) Carolina Orloff (Charco Press)
László Krasznahorkai John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet The World Goes On
(Hungary) & George Szirtes (Tuskar Rock Press)
Antonio Muñoz Molina Camilo A. Ramirez Like a Fading Shadow
(Spain) (Tuskar Rock Press)
Christoph Ransmayr Simon Pare The Flying Mountain
(Austria) (Seagull Books)
Ahmed Saadawi Jonathan Wright Frankenstein in Baghdad
(Iraq) (Oneworld)
Olga Tokarczuk Jennifer Croft Flights
(Poland) (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
Wu Ming-Yi Darryl Sterk The Stolen Bicycle
(Taiwan) (Text Publishing)
Gabriela Ybarra Natasha Wimmer The Dinner Guest
(Spain) (Harvill Secker)
The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Lisa Appignanesi OBE, author
and cultural commentator, with Michael Hofmann, poet, reviewer and translator from
German; Hari Kunzru, author of five novels including The Impressionist and White Tears;
Tim Martin, journalist and literary critic, and Helen Oyeyemi, author of novels, plays and
short stories including The Icarus Girl.

I have reviewed just The Imposter by Javier Cercas 

have read a further five books which I will review first and have ordered all the others bar the one that isn’t out I will be longlisting again and if one or two of you fancy joining I ‘d be happy to set a small shadow up just reviewing the books. 

I love the scope of this list and it is a real change from IFFP lists also great see Charco press there.

 

That was the month that was February 2018

  1. Slum virgins by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara
  2. Bled dry by Abdelilah Hamdouchi
  3. Love/war by Ebba Witt-Brattstrom
  4. Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin
  5. Maryam keeper of stories by Alawiya Sobh
  6. Istanbul Istanbul by Burhan Sönmez
  7. The Black notebook by Patrick Modiano
  8. So you don’t get lost in the Neighbourhood by Patrick Modiano

I managed to review eight books last month. A quieter month than last year. But I feel every book, I read this month was one I would recommend to any other reader. I managed to read two of the three books for the EBRD LIT prize shortlist. I had to read for the Shadow Jury. I read books from six languages and seven countries. Also Seven publishers. No new publishers to the blog this month.

Book of the month

As I said it was a hard month. To Choose the book of the month.  All the books could have been a book of a month on another month. This is maybe the most important book on the list lit-wise as it is one of the cornerstones of Modernist literature and finally we get a better idea of what Doblin had in mind for his journey through the darker side of Berlin. Michael Hoffman has breathed life into this book.

None book discovery

Well, I am a fan of streaming films tv shows. I found another new service this month. Filmstruck has been in the US for a number of years.  It has a partnership with the Criterion collection the US DVD company, this means it has some gems in the collection. Gems from them on her include Three Colours, which I have the DVD of but not seen in HD. They also have a number of Andrei Tarkovsky’s films including Stalker.I look forward to seeing what else they have to watch.

 

Man Booker international 2018 what will be there?

Well here is where I do my yearly look in the mystic ball of translated fiction and guess what I’d like to see on the man booker international longlist.

Books read or reviewed

 

I have decided to divide this year into books I have read or partly read or reviewed in the last year.First off we have Tea Tulic, book Hair everywhere, I always am bewildered why Istros books haven’t had any books on the longlist. This is a story about a family coming to terms with a mother dying, it really touched me.The three peter Owen Serbian books with istros are also worth a place on the longlist.Staying in the Balkans we have another favourite one thanks to doing the shadow jury for all the years I did I meet and it is Belladonna by Dasa Drndic a man looks back on his life and the post-war history of Europe and the worrying rise of Fascism across Europe.Then we have seeing red by Lina Meruane a story of someone going blind another gem from Latin America, Another Spanish language writer caught my eye with Such small hands by Andres Barba a creepy story of an orphan. Now a trio of books by one of my favourite translator Another Spanish novel The Imposter by Javier Cercas a true life story of a man who pretends to be a survivor of death camps. Then two I have part read and will be finished this year Vernon Subutex by Virginie Despentes a story about the title character a former record shop owner that has a final recording of a mysterious star that died too young.Then we have the French art of war by Alexis Jenni an old man tells a story about his life and the wars France have been involved with since world war two to a young man in return to a younger man.Dance by the canal is one of my favourite Peirene books of recent years so should be there IMHO. One woman’s downfall from the former east to the west.Fitzcarraldo has three in my mind that could be on the list Insane by Rainald Goetz recounting his years as a psychiatrist in an autobiographical novel. Companions by Christina Hesselholdt sees three Danish couples as their lives go separate ways in a minimalist novel. Then river by Esther Kinsky is one of those books I loved so much I’m having to build up to review. A personal novel that had a similar effect was Blue self-portrait by Nomei Lefeberve a woman internal monologue as she wanders Berlin. Fireflies by Luis Sagasti another transgressive book of ideas. A poison Apple by Michel Laub a mised concert maybe led a man down the wrong path. Last due out soon The dinner guest by Gabriela Ybarra the story of her own grandfather being kidnapped is a personal book about family and coping with a tragic event it.So from what, I read there is a few now a quick list of some other books.

Not read but could be there

The 7th function of language by Laurent Binet – a theory on the death of Barthes in a novel.

In every moment we are still alive by Tom Malmquist – the tale of a father bring up a baby after losing his wife in child birth.

The white book by Han Kang – About life starting with a white list.

My cat Yugoslavia by pajtim Statovci – a delicate book set during the Balkan wars in the 1990’s.

Lullaby by Leila Slimani – a Nanny turns out not to be all she seems

What do you think will be there?

 

 

Istanbul Istanbul by Burhan Sönmez

 

 

Istanbul Istanbul by Burhan Sönmez

Turkish fiction

Original title – İstanbul İstanbul

Translator – Umit Hussein

Source – personnel copy

I reach the second book from the three of the EBRD shortlist I have to read and this title was the one I knew very little around. Burhan is a prize-winning Turkish writer. He grew up speaking both Turkish and Kurdish. He moved to Istanbul to become a lawyer, he then took up writing first poetry, where he won two national poetry prizes. Then he turned his hand to writing novels this is his third novel his books have been translated into twenty languages. He now teaches literature.

It was cold in our cell. While I was telling the Doctor my story, Kamo the Barber lay curled on the bare concrete floor. We had no covers, we warned ourselves by huddling together, like puppies. Because time had stood still for several day we had no idea if it was day or night. We knew what pain was, every day we relived the horror that clamped our hearts as we were led away to be tortured.

Demirtay in the opening story talking about life in the cell for them.

This book is set just after the military coup in the prison in Istanbul. We are hearing the tales of four prisoners Demirtay the student, the doctor, Kamo the barber and Uncle Kuheylan. The four are being held and tortured.In between the guards taking them the four keep their spirits alive by telling stories from their lives.To spring their minds from outside there windowless cell  As they do they bring the city above them to life. From a meeting with one of those huge white dogs that grew up around this part of the world. A princess that has escaped from the Harem that has snuck on a boat and hidden in a lifeboat.But as one of them is told the stories have to reveal as little about themselves as the cell may be bugged so what we get is slightly fantastic stories. Thjis is interspersed with graphic images of torture particularly later on in the book a scene when a hammer is hit into a wrist is very hard hitting.

“A girl boarded a large ship in the port of Istanbul with great stealth, climbed up the steps, and hid in a large lifeboat. She wrapped herself in a sail and strained her ears to listen to any sound coming from outside.Once the ship had set sail she heaved a sigh of relief. Time aboard passed between sleep and wakefulness. She listened to the crew singingWhen the ship anchored in a port, she waited until evrything had turned quiet and darkness had fallen. She descended the steps unseen by anyone, and started running. She was heading towards a new world

A woman escapes the world of istanbul by a ship but what is here fate ?

 

This is an interesting book that brings the streets of Istanbul to life through the eyes of four men on the edge. There is a harder edge to this than Pamuk’s Istanbul this is the city we don’t see all the time the one of secret prisons and those trying to keep their minds open like the descriptions in Calvino’s Invisible cities the city comes to life. The book uses the four men in the cell as a framing device for the tales they tell each other this is like the Decameron or the Canterbury tales where we see a group using tales to illustrate their lives or values. These tales are in place love stories a little raunchy at times. But also the real side of life in a huge city at times. Tales that show how minds can transcend walls and iron doors that hold these four men in the dark there broken bodies and their minds not yet broken. This is what I had hope the books from the EBRD would be like a prize like this is why I read translated books to discover gems.

3 from Maclehose and a Lithuanian crime novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am showing some recent arrivals for the blog first we have three books from Maclehose press. First off is After winter by The Mexican writer Guadalupe Nettel I have featured her book The body where I was born   This is a novel set between Prais and new york, two people on either side of the Atlantic have troubled lives until they meet.Nettel is regarded as one of the best Mexican writers around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is another writer from Latin America, that has also featured on the blog. this is the latest from Juan Gabriel Vasquez, he has featured three times on the blog. This is his most ambitious book The shape of ruins based on an actual event in Columbian history just after world war two, this event and one of the characters involved also inspired Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his book one hundred year of solitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last book is the one I am most intrigued about. One clear ice-cold morning at the beginning of the twenty-first century by Roland Schimmelpfennig. Is the first novel from the renowned German playwright. It follows a wolf as he wanders one cold morning into the Heart of Berlin and sees the morning through his eyes. An unusual sounding book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we have The music teacher the latest book from Noir books a publisher bring the best in Lit from Lithuania. This is their first crime novel. A small town police investigator who had an affair before with her music teacher. She is now investigating the murder of a teenage girl and her ex-lover now a local politician is putting pressure on too close the case.

Exclusive extract of Craving

I am luck to bring you below an exclusive extract of the book Craving by Esther Gerritsen , as part of a tour for the Dutch annual event Boekenweek that is all about books and sees a special book published ever year Ester Gerritsen was the chosen writer in 2006 with her book ” Broer ” .

The relationship between Coco and her mother Elisabeth is uneasy, to say the least. Running into each other by chance, Elisabeth casually tells Coco that she is terminally ill. When Coco moves in with her mother in order to take care of her, aspects of their troubled relationship come to the fore once again. Elisabeth tries her best to conform to the image of a caring mother, but struggles to deal with Coco’s erratic behaviour and unpredictable moods.

Publisher Twitter handle: @WorldEdBooks 

Publicist Twitter handle: @RKBookPublicist

craving was describe by Alice Sebold as  –

‘Cool, sparse, and delicious, Esther Gerritsen’s Craving hits all the right notes. This is an author who is unafraid of both complex characters and complex emotion (Thank God!).’—Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bone

 

My extract –

‘Nothing is as nice as fresh sheets,’ Coco says as she pulls the fitted sheet over the mattress. Elisabeth doesn’t say that she should have put on an underlay first.

She is sitting on the sofa next to the bed, looking at her daughter as though she’s five years old again and wants to help fold the wash but only makes it worse by helping.

‘Do you know that Dad said you locked me up in my bedroom when I wasn’t even eighteen months old?’

Elisabeth hears her daughter’s attempt to sound breezy. So she replies just as breezily, ‘Did he say that?’

‘Yes, he said that.’

‘That father of yours.’ She does her best to fit in with Coco, over and over. The previous evening she’d even tried to eat more, if only to show her that they weren’t that different after all, though she knows otherwise.

‘It’s not true is it?’ Her daughter looks at her.

She doesn’t reply fast enough. Now there’s no going back. ‘Your father wouldn’t make a thing like that up. Why would your father make up something like that?’

‘You locked me up?’

‘Do you remember anything of it?’

‘So it’s true?’

‘But can you remember it?’

‘Mum, you locked me up when I was a year and half?’

‘Times were different, you know,’ Elisabeth says, trying to sound like the hairdresser.

‘You don’t lock up a one-and-a-half-year-old child.’

‘You didn’t cry any louder when you were in your room. You really didn’t. It didn’t make any difference.’

‘A year and a half?’

‘Would you pass me that plastic bag?’ She points under the bed. Coco bends down and gives her the bag from the chemist’s.

‘A year and a half?’ she repeats.

Elisabeth gets the morphine plasters out of the bag and puts them next to the sofa.

‘Did Dad say a year and a half?’

‘You mean he’s lying?’

‘Lying? How do you figure that one out?’

‘You’re avoiding the subject.’

‘Am I?’ She unfolds the information leaflet.

‘Yes, you are. Can’t you do that later?’

‘Oh sorry, is it bothering you?’

‘Yes.’

Elisabeth puts everything back in the bag.

‘The pain’s not that bad really. Methinks.’

‘What?’

‘Methinks.’

Her daughter looks at the bag.

‘Well, put it back.’ She gives her daughter the bag. ‘Then we can have a nice chat. Just ask me, I don’t have any secrets. What do you want to know?’

‘Why would you lock up a child of a year and a half?’

Elisabeth wants to give her an honest answer, but her thoughts have already digressed. ‘A playpen is a kind of lock-up too, isn’t it?’

‘Mum, I asked you something.’

‘You need to put an underlay on.’

‘Huh?’

‘You need to put on an underlay underneath the fitted sheet.

Yes, I’m just being honest. You want me to be honest, don’t you?’

‘Why did you lock me up?’

Elisabeth searches for something true she is happy to share. She has a good memory. She says, ‘I put cushions down everywhere. In your room. All the cushions from the sofa and the big ones from the old easy chairs. I used belts to tie cushions to the corners of the cupboards so that you couldn’t bump yourself. I left you three bottles. Two with water and one with freshly squeezed orange juice. You liked that. I broke up biscuits into small pieces and put them in plastic bags. At the time you didn’t eat well unless you could get the food out of small plastic bags yourself. You liked that.’

Her daughter doesn’t say anything.

‘And there were toys,’ Elisabeth says, ‘cardboard cubes, from big to small, that fit inside each other. A wooden lighthouse with coloured rings. A book with animals that made sounds. A big cow that mooed when you pressed her belly.’

‘How long did you leave me there?’

Elisabeth looks at the paler strands in her girl’s hair and then her eyes descend to the fleshy neck.

‘I liked to kiss your neck,’ she says. ‘My face fit perfectly into the space between your throat and your shoulders. You smelt so lovely as a child.’ They don’t know that you love them, you have to tell them. Again and again. ‘I love you. That’s what I’d say when I tucked you in at night. Bye-bye little girl. I love you.’ Elisabeth’s gaze wanders off. She looks out of the window and thinks about the matt-grey Mercedes. Then her daughter tears the sheet from the bed.

‘Are you angry now?’

‘Why would I be angry? You have to put an underlay on, don’t you. Explain it to me, Mum, why would I be angry?’

‘Because I locked you up. You’re angry because I locked you up, aren’t you?’

‘Yes, don’t you think?’

‘You weren’t at the time. Not at the time, you know. You were angry when I didn’t lock you up too. You were always angry. It didn’t make any difference.’

‘And you blamed a child of one-and-a-half for that?’

‘No, darling, you don’t have to feel guilty about it—you couldn’t help it.’

‘I don’t feel guilty!’ Coco says. ‘What do you expect?!’

Elisabeth has that strange feeling in her chest again. Perhaps it’s indigestion. Her daughter walks away, out of the room.

‘What is it now?’

‘I’m fetching an underlay!’

The book is published by World editions and is available here 

 

 

Previous Older Entries

April 2018
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
%d bloggers like this: