The last 2 weeks have gone by in a daze – personal and life affecting events that occupied the mind and left no space for reading. And, although long travel was involved, I could not even open a book.
So, it was ironic that the only book read, is about a book lover who deals with every event in her life – ordinary, happy, tragic – with books!! This marvelous book by the Labanese writer Rabih Alameddine, was a book lovers delight – about a book lover. The 70+ protagonist lives a close and circumscribed life, with only half a dozen lives having touched her through her entire 7 decades. Of these, three are her neighbors, who she only hears and sees and does not talk to. All her companions are the characters of the books that occupy her life entirely and she spends all her working life in a bookstore, reading, and all her time at home translating the ‘great books’ into Arabic!! This, routine, mundane life is disrupted by a simple accident, a pipe burst and its consequences are touching and life changing!! In its own subtle understated way, the authors love for Beirut also come through very clearly. And of course, I , who live in this ever changing, developing modern urban India, could related closely with many of the observations on the changing cityscape.
The reading is still going slow, and will take a while to pick up – so I amy not be posting till the end of July.