The WP Longlist is OUT and I’m excited and nervous about it. I picked up a book that I think will be an underrated read, How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee, but I’m moving so slowly with my reading these weeks that I am not sure how much I’ll be able to read before the shortlist is announced! I’d hope at least 8 books. I tried recruiting my mom to read the books and pretend I read them myself, but she sent me memes of dogs instead of answering, so I guess I have to read everything myself as usual.
This week I bought:
Weekly Wrap Up
A Hora da Estrela by Clarice Lispector / Goodreads 2 stars
I loved re-reading Felicidade Clandestina, a collection of short stories which was really touching and beautiful. The Hour of the Star, however, was such a disappointment. I had initially given this 3 stars, but upon reflection, I was being generous because I have a soft spot for Clarice Lispector and I really liked Felicidade Clandestina. This one was kind of a mess: the narrator is a privileged man who says he’s “in love” with Macabéa, the actual main character, and tells her story. Except he hardly allows her to actually shine, she’s but a collection of stereotypes and suffering and pity. There are very small windows into the person she really is, but they’re so small I was left unsatisfied. The narrator steps into the story so much I was annoyed most of the time, especially for his whiny personality.
I am hoping her short stories are better, the only things I liked about this book arethe beautiful edition I had and the fact that it was short. I love the way she uses language, but it came off really strange in this story. I’d have liked it more if written with the simple and sad beauty of Restos do Carnaval instead.
I have a full review coming up tomorrow in both English and Portuguese! (what a fancy blog, my my)
How We Disappeared by
I’m actually really enjoying this! It’s not a brilliant literary work, in my opinion, but it’s genuinely touching and focuses on the women and their stories (mainly on Wang Di, but we get flashes of what the other women’s stories are like), instead of being a list of horrible things happening to someone we don’t get a chance to connect with – which to me makes a world of a difference in a story about war and such terrible things. I’m 60% through and hope to finish this by Tuesday!