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Näytetään blogitekstit, joiden ajankohta on syyskuu, 2009.

Leila Aboulela: The Translator

'Loneliness is Europe's malaria,' Rae said. 'No one can really be immune. This is not so hygienic a place, don't be taken in by the idols it makes of itself. You might even feel sorry for it, just a little, not too much, for there is no injustice in this decay.' I tried to approach this book with an open mind. Considering that the introduction in the beginning of the novel included major spoilers, revealing all but the ending of the novel, I was hoping to get a good reading experience from something besides the plot - perhaps the characters or the language. I did not. It has to be said that I have never read anything quite like this before. Islam as a religion and way of life as well as the Sudanese culture is thoroughly and quite naturally immersed into the story through the main character, Sammar, a young Sudanese woman living in Scotland. In her job as a translator as well as in her everyday life, she tries to balance somewhere in between cultures and lan

Michael Cunningham: Säkenöivät päivät

Tätä he siis olivat. Titaanirankaan kiinnitettyä lihaa. Lihan saattoi kaapia pois kuin kermavaahdon. Simon puristi omaa hauistaan varovasti ja samalla tunnustellen peukalon ja etusormen välissä. Sen sisällä kulki tanko, kirkasta hopeaa. Amerikkalainen Michael Cunningham tunnetaan ehkä parhaiten romaanistaan The Hours (1998, suom. Tunnit ), josta on tehty myös Oscar-palkittu elokuva . Cunninghamin uusin romaani ei ole aivan niin syvällinen kuin Tunnit , mutta monitasoisuutta löytyy taas. Romaani seuraa kolmen päähenkilön, naisen, miehen ja pojan elämää kolmella eri aikakaudella. Mistään aikamatkailusta ei ole kyse vaan pelkästään kolmesta eri ajasta, jolloin kolme eri henkilöä jollain tavalla tuntevat tai törmäävät toisiinsa. Romaanin ensimmäinen osa, Koneen rattaissa , sijoittuu New Yorkiin teollisen vallankumouksen aikoihin. Catherine on juuri menettänyt kihlattunsa, Simonin, juuri ennen häitä miehen jäädessä jumiin tehtaan koneen rattaisiin. Simonin pikkuveli, Lucas, ottaa vel

Saira Shah: Tarinankertojan tytär

Tuohon aikaan länsimaiden lehdistöstä saattoi lukea mujahidineistä vain vähän sellaista, mikä ei ollut yhden tai toisen politiikan värittämää. Mujahidinit kuvattiin joko vapaan maailman uljaiksi sankareiksi tai taantumuksellisiksi rosvoiksi. Molemmat näkemykset olivat länsimaiden luomuksia. Nämä miehet eivät sen enempää inhonneet kommunisteja (paitsi vääräuskoisina) kuin ihailleet Amerikkaa. Englannissa asuva Saira Shah kuulee lapsena afganistanilaiselta isältään tarinoita kaukaisesta ja eksoottisesta Afganistanista. Aikuisena hän lähtee toimittajan ammattinsa kautta etsimään juuriaan isänsä kotimaasta. Saira pukeutuu turvallisuussyistä pojaksi kulkiessaan kunniansa ja ylpeytensä puolesta taistelevien, Yhdysvaltain CIA:n tukemien mujahidin-sissien mukana Kabulia ympäröivillä vuorilla. Hän tekee juttua Pakistanin puolelle paenneista, Peshawarin massiivisilla pakolaisleireillä asuvista afgaaneista. Samalla hän kertoo Talibanien noususta valtaan ja kulkee jalan lumisten vuorten yli K

Sarah Waters: The Little Stranger

Meeting my gaze she said, as if in honest surrender, 'You're right. Hundreds is lovely. But it's a sort of lovely monster! It needs to be fed all the time, with money and hard work. And when one feels them ' - she nodded to the row of sombre portraits - 'at one's shoulder, looking on, it can begin to seem like a frightful burden... Sarah Waters ' The Little Stranger departs from her previous novels that are mostly set in Victorian Britain. First of all, unlike her previous novels, this one does not have any lesbian characters, nor does it focus on sexuality as such. The main character is a country doctor, Faraday, a middle-aged man who has rather pessimistic ideas about his personal future. Secondly, the novel is set as late as the 1940s, in the rapidly modernizing rural district of Warwickshire in post-war England. And thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the genre of the novel seems to lean towards a ghost story - complete with an old, haunted mansion

Sinclair Lewis: Babbitt

'Now you look here! The first thing you got to understand is that all this uplift and flipflop and settlement-work and recreation is nothing in God's world but the entering wedge of socialism. The sooner a man learns he isn't going to be coddled, and he needn't expect a lot of free grub and, uh, all these free classes and flipflop and doodads for his kids unless he earns 'em, why the sooner he'll get on the job and produce - produce - produce! That's what the country needs, and not all this fancy stuff that just enfeebles the will-power of the working man and gives his kids a lot of notions above their class.' Sinclair Lewis became the first American author to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930. One of his primary works, Babbitt , introduces us to George F. Babbitt, a successful realtor and family man, living in the 1920s in the prosperous "Floral Heights" neighbourhood in the fictitious city of Zenith. George has it all. In hi

Toni Morrison: Sula

So when they first met, first in those chocolate halls and next through the ropes of the swing, they felt the ease and comfort of old friends. Because each had discovered years before that they were neither white nor male, and that all freedom and triumph was forbidden to them, they had set about creating something else to be. Their meeting was fortunate, for it let them use each other to grow on. Daughters of distant mothers and incomprehensible fathers (Sula's because he was dead; Nel's because he wasn't), they found in each other's eyes the intimacy they were looking for. I have to admit that I have never read anything by Toni Morrison before, although I know that she is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of black America, especially from the female perspective. While Beloved (1987) and Jazz (1992) are probably her best-known works (the latter published just before Morrison became the first black American to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in

Guy de Maupassant: The Necklace and Other Short Stories

Is it the form of the clouds, the color of the sky, or the color of the surrounding objects which is so changeable, that has troubled my thoughts as they passed before my eyes? Who can tell? Everything that surrounds us, everything that we see, without looking at it, everything that we touch, without knowing it, everything that we handle, without feeling it, all that we meet, without clearly distinguishing it, has a rapid, surprising and inexplicable effect upon us and upon our senses, and, through them, on our ideas and on our heart itself. The French author Guy de Maupassant is considered one of the founding fathers of the modern short story. This collection includes classics such as "The Necklace" and "Ball-of-Fat" ("Boule de Suif"). The settings of Maupassant's stories range from a hungry carriageful of passengers on the road during the Franco-Prussian War to a religious woman enchanted by an artist's painting; from poor families in Norman