Saturday, April 01, 2006


What is a Quiet Book?

Can anyone tell me? And what is a "loud" book? I just hear this term "quiet" used a lot and it mystifies me. As my friend Kaytie said, isn't all reading quiet (unless you are at one of those Barnes and Noble readings with a microphone, but that's not what I'm talking about)?

Gilead: A Novel Marilynne Robinson
A Review by Ron Charles
"There is a balm in Gilead, and I hope many people find it. For a country dazzled by literary and military pyrotechnics, this quiet new novel from Marilynne Robinson couldn't be less compatible with the times -- or more essential."

Hunger: Lan Samantha Chang
Chang beautifully conveys the pressures on these bewildered immigrant parents, whose aspirations are rarely matched by reality, and their quietly rebellious children. And while Tian remains far more frightening than likable, his long-ago escape from mainland China instantly humanizes this paternal despot:

Hunger: Lan Samantha Chang
Lan Samantha Chang's writing is like a Chinese brush painting: delicate, spare, and deceptively quiet. The tumult of emotions not expressed seethes beneath the tranquil spaces, pressing against them, and the effect in the reader is like a series of silent implosions. These are poignant and haunting stories.
Janette Turner Hospital, author of Oyster

The Namesake: Jhumpa Lahiri
The result is a seemingly quiet, almost undramatic novel whose characters and incidents continue to leap freshly to mind weeks after reading it.
Bookpage Interview

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: ZZ Packer
ZZ Packer has a way with words. She has a talent for writing restrained stories that catch the reader off guard. Her tales seem so understated, but her skill is in the way she can target those very human moments of fragility, those quiet, unnamed uncertainties that we can never quite admit to, and certainly can’t find the words for.

Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
Ishiguro's prose has never failed to dazzle me, and this novel is certainly no exception. With a near stillness, a quiet passivity, Ishiguro's narrator tells the story of her and her two friends' eerie predestined fate; a fate that echoes throughout novels such as The Handmaid's Tale and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. What is revealed here is an important, wistful meditation on life and society. His books are marvels — astonishing works of art.

Sigrid Nunez: The Last of Her Kind
And now we have THE LAST OF HER KIND, which continues to draw on the 60's with quiet sorrow.

Carol Shields: The Stone Diaries
Shields's quiet touch, gossipy and affectionate, re- creates Daisy's poignant decline and death with dollops of humorous distance, including obituaries, recipes, and overheard snippets of conversation.

Margaret Atwood: The Tent
As Atwood looks back over her career, what she sees is less the authority of her own voice than the quiet dignity of stories. The stories -- any stories -- would be great, she seems to say, if it weren't for these damned humans always getting in the way of things and mucking about.

Colson Whitehead: Apex Hides the Hurt
In a world crowded with big, bossy novels insisting on taking us to the ends of the earth, Colson Whitehead offers a short, quiet invitation to bum around town.

Jamaica Kincaid: Lucy
JAMAICA KINCAID'S new novel, "Lucy," the first-person narrative of a young woman coming to America, runs like a quiet brook, rising and falling over rocks and gullies, brushing past places it has run before but never resting, never latching onto anything in its path.

Joan Silber: In My Other Life
This book is in part a series of gentle shocks and reminders of those former lives, before rehab, before sanity, before equanimity took over. In its quiet way, this book is about the secret life of an entire generation of urban Americans."

the namesake.. i love that book :)..
the namesake.. i love that book :)..
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