Morrison, Toni "Home"

2012


Reviewed by Marianne
from Let's Read




Toni Morrison is one of my favourite authors. I love her writing so much. She manages to describe anything in a way that you feel you've been there, you know the characters in her book.

Like Frank Money, the protagonist in this novel. He has survived the Korean War, well, physically. After a more than difficult childhood, he and his sister don't continue to have an easy adulthood, you find almost any form of abuse and problem in this novel.

I know I will still think about this novel for a long time.

From the back cover:

"When Frank Money joined the army to escape his too-small world, he left behind his cherished and fragile little sister, Cee. After the war, his shattered life has no purpose until he hears that Cee is in danger.

Frank is a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary black man. As he journeys to his native Georgia in search of Cee, it becomes clear that their troubles began well before their wartime separation. Together, they return to their rural hometown of Lotus, where buried secrets are unearthed and where Frank learns at last what it means to be a man, what it takes to heal, and -- above all -- what it means to come home."


Toni Morrison "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality" received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. 


Read my other reviews of the Nobel Prize winners for Literature.  

Original Post on "Let's Read".

Vargas Llosa, Mario "The Storyteller"

(Spanish: El Hablador) - 1987



Reviewed by Marianne
from Let's Read



When that Nobel Prize winner for Literature was announced, I was quite excited because I had read a book by him recently. A young man leaves Western civilization and lives among the Machiguenga Indians in the jungle of Peru. He becomes their storyteller, a person who passes on their culture's history and belief. The author has a very unique style, quite different from anything I know, the story is both mystical and mythical. A highly interesting novel. I definitely wanted to read more of this interesting author and added "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" to my list of books recently. Just as fascinating.



From the back cover:

"At a small gallery in Florence, a Peruvian writer happens upon a photograph of a tribal storyteller deep in the jungles of the Amazon. He is overcome with the eerie sense that he knows this man...that the storyteller is not an Indian at all but an old school friend, Saul Zuratas. As recollections of Zuratas flow through his mind, the writer begins to imagine Zuratas's transformation from a modern to a central member of the unacculturated Machiguenga tribe. Weaving the mysteries of identity, storytelling, and truth, Vargas Llosa has created a spellbinding tale of one man's journey from the modern world to our origins, abandoning one in order to find meaning in both."

Mario Vargas Llosa received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010 "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat".

Mario Vargas Llosa received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 1996.


Read my other reviews of the Nobel Prize winners for Literature.  

Original Post on "Let's Read".

Pamuk, Orhan "Cevdet Bey and His Sons"

 (Turkish: Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları) - 1982


Reviewed by Marianne
from Let's Read


Orhan Pamuk is not only one of my favourite Turkish authors, he is also one of my favourite authors ever. He has a certain quality to talk about people and events that makes you believe you are right there with them. Whether it is about a murder in the middle ages (My Name is Red) or he tells us about his life (Istanbul), he brings Turkey and Islamism closer to us, he makes us understand a lot of things we wouldn't know without him.

In this book he tells the story of Cevdet, a merchant in Konstantinopel (now Istanbul) at the beginning of the last century. He describes his life in a vivid way and then moves on to the next generation, his sons and their friends in a pre-WWII Istanbul until he finally reaches his grandson in 1970. We follow the family Bey from the Ottoman Empire until their independence, the whole history of the 20th century. We read about the wars, Kemal Attatürk and his visions, the changes that go through the people of what we now call Turkey, the Sultans and their empire and how they got on with their new life. A story about a wealthy family but also about the people around them who were not so fortunate.

A great story by a great author.

From the back cover:

"The story of a small shop owner in Abdulhamid’s last years and one of the first Muslim merchants Cevdet Bey and his sons covers three generations from the beginning of the century to the present day, and it’s also the story of Turkish Republic’s private life. Through the adventures of a family which lives in Nişantaşı, it looks into the indoor lifestyles, the new life in apartments, big families that are becoming westernized, going shopping in Beyoğlu, listening to radio on Sunday afternoons..."

Books mentioned:
Balzac, Honoré de "Le Père Goriot" (Old Father Goriot/Vater Goriot" (Rastignac)
Karaosmanoğlu, Yakup Kadri "Ankara"
Stendhal "Le Rouge et le Noir" (The Red and The Black/Rot und Schwarz)

Orhan Pamuk "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures" received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.

Orhan Pamuk received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 2005.

You can read more about the books I read by one of my favourite authors here.

Read my other reviews of the Nobel Prize winners for Literature.    

Original Post on "Let's Read".

Naipaul, V.S. "A Bend in the River: His Great Novel of Africa"

 1979

Reviewed by Marianne
from Let's Read


 Salim, an African of Indian descent, settles in an unnamed town at the bend in the river as a shopkeeper. With his “foreign” eyes we see part of Africa's history after the colonists left, the changes both in politics and the community, the problems with the economy, the war-like situations. The changes for the local community as well as for the outsiders like Salim who never really truly belong. As an expatriate myself, I can fully understand the problems he encounters, even though they are different from country to country.

Another highly interesting novel by this author who truly deserved the Nobel prize he received.

From the back cover:

"In the 'brilliant novel' (The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man - an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions."

I also read "A House for Mr. Biswas" and "Half a Life".

V.S. Naipaul received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories" and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for "A Bend in the River: His Great Novel of Africa" in 1979.


Read my other reviews of the Nobel Prize winners for Literature.  

Original Post on "Let's Read".

·
OLDER



© Read the NobelsMaira Gall