The Novella Club discussion

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Group reads > Nominate a novella for March 15/April 14

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Ivan | 1779 comments Mod
Mitz  The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid NunezMitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid Nunez

In the summer of 1934, "a sickly pathetic marmoset" called Mitz came into the care of Leonard Woolf. He nursed her back to health and from then on was rarely seen without her on his shoulder. A "ubiquitous" presence in Bloomsbury society. Mitz moved with the Woolfs between their London flat and their cottage in Sussex. She developed her own special relationships with the Woolfs' spaniels, Pinks and Sally, and with various members of the Woolfs' circle, such as T. S. Eliot and Vita Sackville-West. She accompanied the Woolfs on their holidays, including their travels through Europe, and played an important role in helping them to escape a close call with Nazis in Germany. Using letters, diaries, and memoirs, Nunez reconstructs Mitz's life against the background of Bloomsbury in its twilight years. Although a turbulent period marked by the threat of war, the deaths of beloved friends and relations, and Virginia's near breakdown under the strain of finishing her novel The Years, it was nevertheless a time of much happiness and productivity for the Woolfs. Tender, affectionate, and humorous, Mitz provides a glimpse of what Virginia Woolf once described as "the private side of life - the play side," which she believed one's pets represented. Through Nunez's skillful storytelling, an intimate portrait of a most uncommon household emerges - a celebration of the love that saw one monkey, two dogs, and modern literature's most famous husband and wife through some of the worst of times.


message 2: by Jenny (Reading Envy) (last edited Feb 23, 2011 06:10AM) (new)

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) The Summer Book by Tove JanssonThe Summer Book by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish.

In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. “On an island,” thinks the grandmother, “everything is complete.” In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life. (Summary taken from NYRB)


Rick F. | 1 comments Heart of Darkness


Ivan | 1779 comments Mod
I was just looking at this in the book store. Another book I've never read. Heart of Darkness


Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 77 comments I've been wanting to read The Outsider by Albert Camus for a while so I'd like to nominate that please (its sometimes entitled The Stranger but it's the same book).

Here's the blurb from Amazon

"Meursault leads an apparently unremarkable bachelor life in Algiers until he commits a random act of violence. His lack of emotion and failure to show remorse only serve to increase his guilt in the eyes of the law, and challenges the fundamental values of society – a set of rules so binding that any person breaking them is condemned as an outsider. For Meursault, this is an insult to his reason and a betrayal of his hopes; for Camus it encapsulates the absurdity of life. In The Outsider (1942), his classic existentialist novel, Camus explores the predicament of the individual who refuses to pretend and is prepared to face the indifference of the universe, courageously and alone."


James (jim543) [Book: The Lover] by [Author: Marguerite Duras] translated from the French by Barbara Bray.

Set against the backdrop of French colonial Vietnam, The Lover reveals the intimacies and intricacies of a clandestine romance between a young girl from a financially strapped French family and an older, wealthy Chinese man. In 1929, a 15 year old nameless girl is traveling by ferry across the Mekong Delta, returning from a holiday at her family home to her boarding school in Saigon. She meets the son of a Chinese businessman and becomes his lover. Reading it, you feel you are looking at a dark-hued portrait of lovers embracing surrounded by a mysterious and impenetrable jungle of blackness. It is a ravishingly beautiful work of art that has a dream-like quality.


Victoria (vikz writes) (VixtoriaVikzwrites) Ally wrote: "I've been wanting to read The Outsider by Albert Camus for a while so I'd like to nominate that please (its sometimes entitled The Stranger but it's the same book).

..."


I 2nd. I would really like to read that book.


Ivan | 1779 comments Mod
James wrote: " [Book: The Lover] by [Author: Marguerite Duras] translated from the French by Barbara Bray.

Set against the backdrop of French colonial Vietnam, The Lover reveals the intimacies and intricacies o..."


I'm not making this up....I literally held this book in my hand the other day at my favorite (local) used book store. I think I saw the film when it first came out, which was many years ago.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't have a nomination, but many of these sound good to me.


James (jim543) Ivan wrote: "Mitz  The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid NunezMitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid Nunez

In the summer of 1934, "a sickly pathetic marmoset" called Mitz came..."


This book intrigues me as I have been interested in the Bloomsbury group whether it be from Keynes & Strachey to Virginia Woolf & Vita. So I would very much enjoy reading this unique view of the Bloomsbury circle.


James (jim543) Rick wrote: "Heart of Darkness"

Conrad is always worth reading and The Heart of Darkness is not only one of his best but also an influential novel (see Eliot's poem The Hollow Men).


Ivan | 1779 comments Mod
James wrote: "Ivan wrote: "Mitz  The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid NunezMitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid Nunez

In the summer of 1934, "a sickly pathetic marmoset" calle..."


I can recommend Bloomsbury Pie: The Making of the Bloomsbury Boom by Regina Marler.


James (jim543) Ivan wrote: "James wrote: "Ivan wrote: "Mitz  The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid NunezMitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid Nunez

In the summer of 1934, "a sickly pathetic..."

Thanks for another great recommendation.


Kristen | 4 comments Jenny wrote: "The Summer Book by Tove JanssonThe Summer Book by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish.

I second this one; just picked it up a few weeks ago!



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