Tuesday, 26 July 2011

To room 19

This is another short story I read recently and I summarize it as follows:
When you start reading it, you come accross a young, wealthy and well established couple, who own a big house and have four children. Apparently, everything should be all right, but the wife feels all alone and desperate. She had to do without her professional life and that - among other reasons - makes her feel down.

As the author goes deeper into the main character's psychological status, we discover that she really needs to have her own private time and space. Eventually, she decides to rent a room in a dingy hotel in London, where she spends a few hours each day.
Whatever happens next, you have to read by yourself.
The author of the story is Doris Lessing. She got the Nobel Prize not long ago.

Monday, 25 July 2011


All that I knew about Toni Morrison is that when at college one of my teachers insisted - or otherwise we'd fail - that we had to read Beloved and The Bluest Eye. At that time, I could not understand much of what I was reading, but I searched for some summaries that helped me answer the questions on my test and deliver a very modest piece of writing.

A few years have passed since then and early in July, I decided I had to take up some more reading in English just to catch up with the years I had spent reading only very easy samples of English taken from grammar books or English learning methods.

Even though I have to devote most of my time to keep an eye on my child, we drove together to a nice book shop in town and I came accross a new collection of short stories that include translations of the hard words at the bottom of the page. In a nutshell, I was determined to read some good stuff and my choice was Recitatif.

It is a sweet story about two women who spend a period of time together in a shelter when they were children. They do not meet each other for years and they have five different encounters as time goes by. The author tries to show how racial, social and psychological changes play a particular role in people's lives and how they understand and interpret their own recollections of the past the their relationship with others.

There's not much much more I would like to say about the story, I just want to recommend people to read it. Follow this link if you really want to go deeper into it.