Brian Hart’s debut novel, Then Came the Evening, begins with a calamitous misunderstanding. Bandy Dorner, hungover and in trouble with two police officers, is told that his cabin burned down the night before. Bandy assumes his wife, Iona, was inside, and in a confused fury he shoots one of the cops, killing him. But Iona, we soon learn, did not die in the fire. She took off with her new man earlier that night—just after she burned down the cabin.Read the rest.
The rest is fallout.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
In the new Bookforum, I review another debut:
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Today in The National, I write about the massive and fantastic novel Your Face Tomorrow by Javier Marías (pictured left), the third volume of which has just been published in English.
Your Face Tomorrow, the enormously ambitious novel in three volumes by the Spanish writer Javier Marías, began seven years ago with a warning: “One should never tell anyone anything.” Not that Marías or his narrator, Jaime Deza, believes this advice – both go on to violate it for nearly 1,300 pages. But that opening remark haunts all that follows. Like so much fiction by Marías, Your Face Tomorrow returns again and again to the moral complications of storytelling: the hidden motives behind the stories we tell; the inevitable inaccuracies of language; the way that just listening to a story can implicate us in what it recounts. As the narrator of another Marias novel, Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, says: “the only safe option would be never to say or do anything”.Read the rest.