sisterMAG book column – part 2 – today you have to read!
Together with author Martina Klaric we have launched a new sisterMAG series – the book column. In each issue, Martina puts together four book recommendations for you that fit the different topics of the issue. In addition to a current book you will find a classic and also regularly a non-fiction book, which might not even have been published in German yet. Here is part 2 of the book column for you – with four exciting recommendations!
sisterMAG book column – part 2
Today you have to read!
In these difficult times of COVID 19, we see even more the importance of reading. For, it enables us to forget everything around us for some time and dive into another world – be it with a thrilling novel, a classic, or a travel report. All the more, we are pleased that Martina Klaric picked out four books for her new book column. They shed light on the different aspects of our issue’s focus and provide us with some very welcome distraction at home.
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
By Ocean Vuong, published in April 2016 by Copper Canyon Press (89 pages), ISBN: 9781556594953, $16,00 [US]
»I didn’t know the cost / of entering a song – was to lose / your way back. / So I entered. So I lost. /I lost everything, my eyes / wide opened.« Nobody writes so dreamy and tragic in one breath like the Vietnamese-American author Ocean Vuong. Recently, his poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds was published in a German translation. And now, at the latest, we know: Vuong is currently writing literary history. Because it’s not often that an author is able to build words and sentences in a way that makes them appear entirely new – as if they were born into the world at this very moment. Instead of repeating phrases, Vuong relies on exceptionality. Instead of nesting, you read touching poetry with utter clarity. His lyric is full of thoughts of the own past, especially of the mental violence he experienced as a homosexual immigrant. What’s outstanding about it: Vuong doesn’t write himself into a rage for a single line. His work is far from putting self-pity or anger into language. It rather proposes the personal processing of a life through art. Wow!
Link to the publisher’s website: https://www.coppercanyonpress.org/books/night-sky-with-exit-wounds-by-ocean-vuong/
By Anna Hope, published in July 2019 by Doubleday (336 pages), ISBN: 9781784162801, $8,99 [US]
With Expectation, the Manchester-born author Anna Hope created an important novel about unfulfilled dreams. No wonder, as Manchester has long been known for its excellent literary scene. Hope’s novel starts on an early morning in mid-May when three girlfriends meet and whose lives couldn’t be more different. Then, in their mid-thirties, they find out: Something is missing for them. While Hannah, despite a fulfilled relationship, longs for a child and Cate, even though she has a child, has the feeling of gradually losing her own self, Lisa is facing the wreckage of a failed relationship and threatens to shatter her dream. How can this be? Do we expect too much or the wrong things from life? Why are dreams and reality never compatible? And most of all: What can we do to change this? Anna Hope intersperses thoughts like these with care and the utmost vigour. In doing so, she takes up acute questions of the present and addresses what many of us think: Why do I stand here even though I wanted to be there? Touching, honest and approachable!
By Leo Tolstoy, new German translation published on October 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (520 pages), ISBN: 9780140424638, $18,00 [US] Paperback edition
The first sentences of Leo Tolstoy’s Resurrection (first published in 1899) belong to the most beautiful ones in world literature. They describe the scene of a change of season, the transition from winter to spring, from old to new. Nowhere else is the power of nature as closely intertwined with the concept of resurrection as it is here. The initial scene resembles a biblical announcement scene from the bible whose wise undertone rings out from every line. At the same time, we read the heart-breaking love story of the prince Nekhlyudov and Katyusha Maslova who is of poor backgrounds and who the prince seduced at a young age. Years later, he meets her again on the docks. She, who now is a prostitute, is accused of poison murder. Her fate hits Nekhlyudov deep in his heart. He realises that he alone is to blame for her life’s tragic turn. Does the prince save her? But more importantly: Will Katyusha let herself be saved? A masterpiece of literature! A must-read!
Link to shop: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/resurrection-leo-tolstoy/1100059700;jsessionid=A1BFA3FB7FA519954B13BC75BD4DC0B6.prodny_store02-atgap01?ean=9780140424638&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20Inc
How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong
By Elizabeth Day, published in April 2019 by HarperCollins Publishers (352 pages), ISBN: 9780008327354, £9,99 [UK] Paperback edition
»One of my earliest memories is of failure,« Elizabeth Day writes and on the subsequent pages, she describes in detail how it feels to disappoint ones’ big sister as a three-year-old: Formative, actually! With this, she points out that moments of failure are part of our life from the beginning. No matter whether it’s the separation from the long-term partner, the unexpected end of the career or the emotional disruption: Crises are there to be overcome. And above all: They are no individual failure. Instead, they can be understood as grounding moments of true inner strength. With How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong, Elizabeth Day manages to tell about her life crises in a sensitive and motivating way. Her stories appear authentic and are a real »positivity boost«! Lightweight and inspiring – a wonderful read for in between.
Link to the publisher’s website: http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008327354/how-to-fail-everything-ive-ever-learned-from-things-going-wrong/