Teaser Tuesdays: God Loves Haiti by Dimitry Elias Léger

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

haiti

God Loves Haiti is a novel set in the 2010 earthquake suffered by that country, and is peopled by some striking characters – for example, the one in these lines:

…The moment, this dream-concretizing climax, felt ephemeral. Like she was about to wake up where she was born, in a roofless orphanage, naked, afraid, hungry, but pugnacious.

There is shock value to learning her roots, yes, but I love that string of adjectives for more than its shock value: how about that pugnacity, hm? Stay tuned.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: Publishing by Gail Godwin

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

publishing

The plentifully published Gail Godwin looks back on her career in Publishing. She is charming and humorous as well as moving; and I think these lines begin to express that.

“What kind of editor would you like to work with?” was Robert Gottlieb’s first question to me in his office, and I replied rather pompously, “Well, it will have to be someone who appreciates great literature,” then burst into sobs.

and several paragraphs later,

…on that late 1970 December day, he waited out my sobs and then said kindly, in response to my Great Literature stipulation, “Well, Gail, I’m afraid that’s going to be me.”

Lest you think her, well, obnoxiously pompous, I assure you she had reasons to be crying that day. And this description of these events is, I think, sweetly funny. I do recommend her.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: You’re Not Lost If You Can Still See the Truck by Bill Heavey

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

not lost

Bill Heavey has written for Field & Stream for a number of years; this is the third collection of his work (from F&S and elsewhere). He is a funny man. Hunting and fishing are not hobbies of mine, but this does not disqualify me from enjoying his work.

Every year, in celebration of the return of spring and fishing, I try to have at least one colossally stupid experience involving a canoe. Some people might call it a jinx, but I prefer to think of it as an involuntary tradition. All it takes to have a near-death experience in a small boat is to put aside common sense for a few moments. After that, everything takes care of itself.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for self-deprecation – and all the better in such a macho setting as this. Good stuff.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: Offcomer by Jo Baker

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Sorry, I know I already gave you one teaser from this one, but I just couldn’t help myself.

offcomerI loved a lot of things about this book, but one of them was the striking passages about physicality, the physical effects of noticing others’ physical presences throughout. I thought I’d share this one with you.

As she came towards him, the last grains of his ambivalence crumbled away. He suddenly realised, for the first time, that she was, in fact, beautiful. The idea was startling, even terrifying. Even that evening nearly a year ago, when she had taken off her clothes for him to draw her, when she was utterly new and unknown to him, he hadn’t really thought that she was beautiful.

Oh, the terrifying beauty! It’s not what you think, though… I suppose I’ll be mysterious and leave it at that for now.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: Screenplay by MacDonald Harris

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

screenplay

Allow me to introduce you to a strange and dreamy novel originally published in the year of my birth, which recalls somewhat The Great Gatsby, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and (most pointedly) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. For your teaser today, please enjoy our narrator-protagonist on his mother:

To me she behaved exactly as she did to the rest of her friends; she was affectionate without sentiment, she confided every intimate thought that came to her without hesitating, she often asked my advice on things, and when I came home at the end of the day she embraced me as she did her other friends, male and female, as was the custom in their set – in the French manner, a quick hug and a touch of the lips on both cheeks.

The oddness is only just beginning, I assure you. Stay tuned; I think it’s a good one.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

two-wheeled thoughts & Teaser Tuesdays: Offcomer by Jo Baker

bike

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Two-wheeled thoughts is my own.

offcomer
Offcomer is a fine and rather hypnotic first novel – by the author of Longbourne, but before it – only now in its first stateside publication. There’s a lot to it, but I was struck (of course) by these lines.

The bike was cool and damp after a night in the back yard. She wheeled it, ticking like a grasshopper, through the house and out the front door, bumped it down the steps. She pushed her right foot into the toeclip, swung into the saddle. Shuffling the other foot into its clip, she tacked slowly up the hill. The gears clicked into place with the certainty of a problem solved.

I love that it ticks like a grasshopper, and that the gears click like a problem solved. That is as it should be.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

synchronicity: Teaser Tuesdays: The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies, as rediscovered by Brooke Williams and Terry Tempest Williams

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

story

Is it a double-synchronicity if it’s a synchronicity about synchronicity?

Fair warning: I will be raving about this little book when it gets published and I’m allowed to do so. But for now… this is Brooke Williams, in one of his commentaries following a chapter of Jefferies’s 1883 work.

Jefferies was in conversation with me as I was in conversation with Jung. Jung also used “soul” and “psyche” interchangeably. The psyche, I’ve learned, is the complete human mind – conscious as well as unconscious. What intrigues me most is Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious – that part of the psyche every human shares, that evolved as our cells evolved, through natural selection, consisting of “mnemonic deposits accruing from the experience of our ancestors.”

Randomly discovering a book I’d never heard of and reading a passage about psyche and soul – concepts I’d been struggling to understand – was for me a “meaningful coincidence,” Jung’s definition for synchronicity.

Synchronicity is, according to Ira Progroff, “at the frontal edge of life where evolution is occurring.”

In parallel, you know I’ve used the word synchronicity here before. What you don’t know is that I had some trouble selecting the word I wanted to use to communicate the concept: of coincidence, but more than coincidence. Clearly (at least according to the definitions given above) I got it right. Thanks, Pops, for helping me to get it.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

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