This week, I cheered for the knitting Grannys behind Danish high fashion, got very excited by the news that J.Crew now ship to Germany (and, in fact, anywhere else in the world), admired Sandra’s mom in her blue velvet pants and dreamt about having tea with Karl Lagerfeld.
But what I mostly did was fall in love all over again.
About seven years ago when I was on holiday, I picked up a book called “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides from the hotel book exchange. I can’t remember what made me choose it, but I don’t think I got up from the sun lounger for the rest of the holiday, it was that wonderful. Sad and wise and warm and stupendously well-written. Even if that makes me sound like the backs of American novels that always tell you how great a book is, never what it’s actually about. “Middlesex” is about: a hermaphrodite’s coming-of-age. It’s also about Greek immigrants, the automobile industry, the modern history of the United States and Berlin after the Wall came down. And, really, about anyone with a family, who has ever loved and lost.
I must’ve read “Middlesex” four or five more times since I first picked it up. Partly, because it took Jeffrey Eugenides this long to write his next novel. I think I actually yelped when I finally saw in a bookstore last week. It’s called “The Marriage Plot” and tells the story of a girl putting, well, the plot of great English novels to test in her own life. I’m sure it’s about much more than that, but I’m only 40 pages in, because as much as I want to lock myself in a room and read the whole thing in a day, I’m trying to pace myself. It will end eventually and I don’t know how I will be able to wait that long again for him to write his next book.
Then again, he can take as long as he bloody likes to write when it results in sentences like this one: “Her hair was expensively set into a smooth dome, like a band shell for the presentation of that long-running act, her face.”
Even if that sentence doesn’t do for you what it does for me, there are hundreds of other sentences in there worth underlining. So: buy the book. And then read “Middlesex”. And then “The Virgin Suicides”, which is also by him and also very good.
Have a great weekend! I’m going to read now.