A good book and nice surprises

I’m reading James Agee’s   A Death In The Family,


His reputation is deserved.

His social realism and characterisations are brilliant.

I am not surprised that it represents a decade’s work.

Philip Roth,

 Ok, I have to say it.


I have given up,

 no more.

I admit defeat, maybe I just don’t get it and you know,

I don’t want to.

I had a lovely evening.

I was expecting to stay home and watch Master chef.

I ended up going to have a beer at a friend’s house.

I have to confide,

 I was apprehensive that perhaps it would be uncomfortable.

I had only met her guy a few times and very briefly.

I knew he was nice,

but beyond that I didn’t know what to expect.

It was very enjoyable and stimulating.

Good company and good conversation always are.

The past week has been filled with pleasant little  surprises.

Walks by the river and intelligent conversations.

After, the summer of Hell,

 perhaps it will be a fall of growth and joy.

Here’s hoping.

Later girls


More Agee and taking on Roth.

Today, was raining and humid.

It was also library day.

Every three Sundays I go to the Grande Bibliotheque.

Today, a lot of people had the same idea.

Must have been because of the weather.

Still, it’s nice to see a tax dollars success story.

I only read two out of the last four I took out.

I wrote an appreciation for both.

The Narrow Corner and Small Island.

A few weeks ago, I told you about taking out a book of James Agee’s letters,

I was the only person to have taken it out since the early sixties.

I really loved it,

 he was a man of great passion and great anger.

A fascinating combination in a writer,

 in anyone.

So, I decided to take out The Library Of America’s James Agee.

The volume includes Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,

his seminal work on Alabama sharecroppers as well as his autobiographical novel,

 A Death In The Family, which was published posthumously.

Agee is an important writer and I know I’m going to love both works.

I have always been a ardent lover of American fiction.

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Anderson, Irving and on and on.

I adore American writers.

Still, there are big holes in my reading of Americans.

I have read no Toni Morrison, William Styron, Joyce Carol Oates or Theodore Dreiser.

I intend to remedy this situation over the course of the next year.

One writer who’s work I am not nearly familiar enough with is,

 Philip Roth.

I have read three or four of his novels.

Mostly early ones,

Portnoy’s Complaint, Goodbye Columbus, The Ghost Writer,

and more recently, The Dying Animal.

I thought The Dying Animal, was a fantastic book and it made me want to read more.

Roth, is considered by many critics and scholars,

 as one of the most important writers of the second half of the 20 th century.

What I have read I like,

 it’s smart and it’s very representative of a certain segment of American society.

Very urban, very Jewish, very New York about a world mostly,

of intellectuals.

Sounds good to me.

Another reason for reading Roth is,

 he is nothing like me.

Right now, I want to read from a perspective very different from mine.

So I can go elsewhere,

 and also because there is no way I could copy Roth inadvertently.

I have been sketching out ideas for a novel.

I want to read something fulfilling but, nothing like me,

 no middle aged lesbians for a little while 🙂

Tonight I start, The Great American Novel,

because I love the title and it’s about Baseball.

I love Baseball, I don’t play it or watch it.

But, I love it’s history and it’s mythical standing with Americans.

A little like Hockey with Canadians,

but, bigger we’re talking Americans here!

I took out two volumes that each contain  three novels,

I might need to renew.

I will keep you updated.

I will be reading some lesbian romance ,

a genre I enjoy,

 and have no intention of writing.

Take care

Later girls


I always knew I was weird

My reading has been all over the map lately.

 Last night I started reading a book of letters by James Agee.

 I have never read James Agee, although, I have been meaning to for years.

 He wrote, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men which features photographs by my favorite photographer,

Walker Evans.

 This book is an homage to the working people and the poor in Depression era USA.

 I heard about Agee some time ago,probably on PBS.

 He was also a fantastic movie critic and his work: critique, prose and poetry is collected  in two volumes of

 The Library Of America.

I had one of the volumes in the bookstore a couple of years ago, it went so fast I barely had time to look at it.

 Ever since,I have been on the lookout, so on my last visit of the Grande Bibliotheque,

 I spotted this book of letters, so I took it out.

 I like to wander around quasi aimlessly, it’s fun and surprising.

 I figured it would give me an idea of his voice, it’s terrific.

 Really gives insight into the ups and downs of the creative process and how difficult it is to earn a living.

 I will definetly be reading more of his work.

 But, the truly weird part —this book has been part of the collection since 1962 and

I am the first person to take it out.

I know Montreal is a mostly French speaking city, but still…

I always new I was weird, odd, as my friend Jane would say a Martian?

I guess I am distinct in a distinct society.  lol.

Later girls