As quoted by Helen Macdonald in “H is for Hawk.”
I think loneliness is an invention of urbanity, of History’s suddenly crowded core. There is no lonesomeness on the grassy plain, or, for that matter, in the dark concrete city heart, so long as singleness is read as the manifestation of singularity of setting, of origin, of a particular life-chain of place.
“No, I haven’t read it,” the bookstore owner said from behind the counter, peering at the book in my hand: “Less,” by Andrew Sean Greer. By his tone, it was evident he did not intend to either. Too best-seller-y perhaps, too bright the colors on its cover. To be fair, the cover was bright, even for me; its neon hues gawkishly out of place in the tiny lumber bookstore on the Main Street, the only street, of Ouray, Colorado.
But I picked it anyway, returning my second choice “The Book Thief” to its corner, under disapproving eyes. I was in the mood for a gawkish summer.
“Eat, Pray, Love” is probably a bad comparison, but it kept coming to mind as I read “Less,” which is about an about-to-be-old, single, gay writer who thinks he’s failed at life and so embarks on a trip around the world to avoid the thought.
Of course, the trip becomes the journey that is the destination that is opened eyes to life. The colors on the cover presage it all.
But, there is a but.
The book is great. Funny, very funny. It boasts a Pulitzer. And it very well should. Above a sweet display of some of its words.
Read it before the days of summer are done. You can probably buy it everywhere, just look for neon on a rack.
I may not believe in dessert but oh do I believe in this.
As a poet one can only pray to write couplets akin to “sly snacks”. And present them as “perfidious samosas.”
From Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.”
So true this fallacy. From “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer
As far as requests go, Unnameable Books in Prospect Heights makes a reasonable one.
Above, evidence of the type of cultural history that is difficult to learn outside of literature. From Arundhati Roy’s “Ministry of Utmost Happiness.”