Thursday, June 17, 2010

Giuseppe Pontiggia's Born Twice and other such books.

I had finished reading Tilt written by author and poet Elizabeth Burns and meant to do a post on it. Unfortunately it's been a while and I have forgotten the nuances and the immediate feeling which usually makes for a good write up.  I'll just write down what I can now since it is not to be missed. Burns has proven she is as good an author as she is a poet. The sufferings of a couple in a nuclear family with 2 kids where one is a disabled child only gets worse when the father's schizophrenia lifts its ugly head and the Mom takes refuge in deep depression. There is a sort of redemption in the end which helps the reader to feel better for the Mom who is the narrator. A good book that makes you take a step back and count the myriad of blessings that are yours without asking.

Born Twice has an interesting hardcover and since I like works of translation I just couldn't resist this famous Italian author's first foray into the American market. I was well rewarded with a masterpiece! At times the style reminded me of Umberto Eco. Not sure if that is because both are translated works from Italian. It happens to be a style that I love anyway but mostly the book has its own splendid style. Oonagh Stransky did the translation. The story/theme resembles Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Haddon has the kid narrating his life while for Pontiggia it is the father who takes us into the realms of growing with a disabled child.

What took my breath away in Born Twice are the snippets of analysis/philosophy on the various situations in life, be it related to the disabled child or not.  It was a pleasure to read through all that the father puts forward to make sense of his own and other's actions. I thought I alone had the need for this sort of analysis:-) Giuseppe Pontiggia has the unique ability to put feelings from the deep recesses of the mind onto paper keeping the reader's interest and pique the said reader's mind at the same time. Dostoevesky was especially gifted in putting his Freudian points accumulated from a hard life into readable form but I'd say Pontiggia has simplified the process and makes it more accessible to readers. So don't say I didn't tell you. Include this in that short list of books to add to your personal collection. It will remain a cherished asset.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some Cherries & a Movie

Enjoy these cherries from the orchard. Not ours of course! We went cherry picking on the Memorial Day weekend and this year the harvest was exceptionally juicy, firm, sweet, ripe and scrumptious all at the same time! Must be the season. Our neighbors as well as colleagues agreed whole heartedly when offered some.

Coming to the movie, the four of us went and watched Karate Kid this weekend and I have to say that it is the most wonderful family movie that I have watched in a while. Reminded me of Spielberg's Jurassic Park I even if they belong to different genres. It is a remake of the original and I really loved this version. Will & Jada Smiths's son Jaden Smith is awesome and is perhaps the reason why the story and the triumph was so persuasive. Jackie Chan was his usual charming self and Taraji P Henson wasn't too bad. So watch it with kids and you have a home run.