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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Purple America / R. Moody

Stunning, this novel goes directly into the black hole of one's deepest fears about aging, placing one wholly within the skin of an aged Cliffie suffering from advanced MS and ALS, making one feel one is risking one's life by continuing to turn the pages and eliciting torrents of compassion and horror.  It takes nerve to read this work and watch as her son attempts to assume the burden of caring for her when her husband deserts her, she insisting that at a time of her choosing the son assist her in ending her life, to his shock, the story rendered in long and welcome Proustian constructions.  This is a novel there is a good probability I will finish, despite having to brace myself each time I pick it up.

January 7, 2015--Finished it, first novel that's held one all the way through for some time. Stunning, absolutely; deeply scary and deeply penetrating, extreme depths of human nature explored but, the universe of literature being what it is, the story was a festival of Negativity.  The relationship between literature and the Negative is a long and seemingly unbreakable one, and the truism that we cannot bear reading about happy people doing fulfilling things suggests a troubling fact about human nature.

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