14 February 2008

As if I needed another reason to procrastinate...

...another reason presented itself today.

Two of my favorite authors, Geraldine Brooks and Sue Miller, released new books recently.  Admittedly, I was not enamored with Miller's last book, Lost in the Forest, but it's hard to beat her earlier works (my personal favorite being While I Was Gone).  So I'm always willing to give her another chance, and her newest looks promising.  

But my real love--Geraldine Brooks--owns my heart.  I first learned of Brooks' work when I randomly picked up Year of Wonders at a used book store during my senior year of college.  Instant love.  I read it, instantly re-read it, and passed it along to anyone who would accept my abused copy.  And then...

March.  The book that still weighs on my mind.  Rich descriptions, good plot, etc.  I don't plan on pretending that I am qualified to critique a Pulitzer Prize winner.  I only want to note that Brooks uniquely and beautifully constructs genuine and believable characters.  I found myself empathizing with even the most vulgar characters--and, more importantly, the non-vulgar characters that we "moral" humans are supposed to despise for their "poor" choices--because their emotions and actions were so truly human.  Brooks doesn't try to create the perfect protagonist; rather, she creates a REAL character who is so flawed that the reader must love him...because it's impossible not to see yourself in his actions.  It's impossible not to notice my own reaction to the "wrong" choice...only to realize that the character's action is more moral than the "right" choice.  

Brooks has really examined human actions and the motivations behind them (probably based on her many experiences as a global reporter).  Not only can she speak to our own inner workings, she is able to translate them gorgeously into print.  

In short, she's genius and I will probably go buy this book today.   If you see me, tell me not to go to Carmichael's.  Please.  For the sake of my grades, stop me.

Or don't.  :)

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