Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Beautiful Narrative

Just finished reading The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and loved it. What struck me as most amazing about this book is that its voice belongs to a man much older than the writer himself but not once does it falter or want in authenticity. You wonder how he does it and with such mastery. The protagonist is so utterly real that it is hard to believe you are reading a story.

Dinaw Megsetu speaks to an universal condition when his hero Sepha Stephanos says :

"How did I end up here? That seems like an inappropriate question to ask after seventeen years in a country. How is it that I came to own and run a store in the center of a blighted neighborhood , and how is it that now as my store, or what is left of it, is about to be taken away, that I can do nothing but sit on the floor of my uncle's apartment and run through the past. Narrative. Perhaps that is the word I am looking for. Where is the grand narrative of my life ? The one I could spread out and read for signs and clues as to what to expect next. It seems to have run out, if such a thing is possible. It's harder to admit that perhaps it had never been there at all. Do I have the courage to explain all this away as an accident ?"

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