A captivating memoir of a child’s desire to know her father that delves into an exploration of identity – through the lens of religion, gender, historA captivating memoir of a child’s desire to know her father that delves into an exploration of identity – through the lens of religion, gender, history, and family. As I started reading I wondered how I would react after over two decades of estrangement from my father I received a note from him saying he is no longer Steven but Stefanie. Her father had gone through the sexual reassignment surgery while in his 70s and his path to this decision is riveting and informative. Faludi uses her journalist skills to get answers from her father relating to her childhood and which leads to a more compelling multi-layered story of her father’s childhood, family secrets, the history and persecution of Hungarian Jews and the effect on the current Hungarian landscape. While Stefanie is often evasive and contradictory, Faludi is patient enough to eventually piece together all the complexities and has written one of best understanding of identity and the ability to define who we are. ...more
A smart harrowing yet thoughtful account of the 1980 South Korean Gwangju Uprising and its haunting traumas is skillfulStunning, Scathing and Sincere!
A smart harrowing yet thoughtful account of the 1980 South Korean Gwangju Uprising and its haunting traumas is skillfully told through multiple voices in unified interconnected stories carrying through to a surprising final narrator. Dung-ho, a fifteen-year-old student, is searching for his friend as he tends to the corpses in a gymnasium hoping that his friend is one of the newly delivered bodies, dies in a vicious attack by government soldiers sets the tone in the first story and then the reader moves on to stories of others that were connected in some way to Dung-ho or his friend.
While this story is specific to a time and place, it is also a very universal story. The cruelty and violence against others makes one pause to think about our humanity and why we revisit this brutal cycle time and again. While all the voices touched my soul, I was most struck by the voice of the spirit – the helplessness, confusion, and despair portrayed really brought home the unnecessity of this violence. The graceful language makes the brutality that much more poignant.
Once again, I was mesmerized by the author’s incredible storytelling and the seamless translation. I started 2016, reading The Vegetarian which was one of my top reads for the year and I started 2017 reading Human Acts which will be a top read for me, so I am hoping that this talented author/narrator team will have another incredible book to start my 2018 reading year. ...more
A delightfully compelling read of a mystery filled with heart and a tinge of noir, unconventional characters, a seductive romance set in the majesty oA delightfully compelling read of a mystery filled with heart and a tinge of noir, unconventional characters, a seductive romance set in the majesty of the Utah desert. The lyrical of the language and the charming main character Ben Jones, a local area truck driver of a hard scrabble community pulled me from the beginning. Each of the characters have something of a traumatic past but are respectful of each other’s privacy. Then a woman shows up, Ben is smitten, and drama begins that threaten to unravel the equilibrium of the community. Solving the riddles unearth mysteries with painful consequences. Unexpected surprises and twists showcase the soul of this flawed community. An impressive debut that will entertain reads with its remarkable character development and flowing storytelling. ...more