Friday, May 18, 2007

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

When the New Yorker ran what I later learned was an excerpt from this novel, I thought it was the best short story I'd read in years. As a full-blown novel, Krauss makes it work and established herself as something truly special. An old man, Leo Gursky (who has become one of my favorite characters in modern listerature) and a teenage girl, Alma Singer, have stories that intertwine as gracefully and as delicately as you could hope for though it isn't a light read. It can get confusing but the payoff is huge. It's the kind of book that you finish and want to start all over again in case you missed something. (You did.) You will laugh and you will ache and you will be moved. I got to meet Krauss very briefly and we spoke about the book and some of the characters and after just a few minutes, both of us were almost in tears. I doubt she'd remember it but, like the book, it has stayed with me and left a mark. And yet...(from '05 list)

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