No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

#47: The Zigzag Way -- Anita Desai

This book tells the story of Eric, the odd one out in a family of Maine fishermen, and his Mexican quest to find his roots. Interwoven with his story is that of Donna Vera, ageing expert in the native Indian culture, and the past of which she never speaks. The third thread is the story of Betty, Eric's grandmother, who travels from Cornwall to Mexico to marry her sweetheart, a miner, in the early years of the 20th century. All the threads are plaited together on Dios dos Muertos, the Day of the Dead, when Eric sets aside book-learning for an evening.

The novel is 'about' being rootless, I suppose: about making a new life, or seeking to make sense of the old.

It's a slim novel (under 200 pages) and somehow, despite its themes, slight. Some gorgeous writing, though: I'm especially struck by image of a net of flies around a corpse.

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

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