Firstly, ‘See What I Have Done’ by Sarah Schmidt. Based around the tale of Lizzie Borden, the American murderer. For some reason, I feel drawn to murder and mayhem these days…can’t think why.
A while ago I wrote about Maggie Nelson’s ‘The Argonauts’ while I found fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. This month a couple of her earlier books have been published in the UK for the first time. ‘The Red Parts’ looks at the effect of the trail of the murderer of Nelson’s aunt, while ‘Bluets’ is a study of ‘blue’ in all its guises and is ‘a raw, cerebral work devoted to inextricability of pleasure and pain, and to the question of what role, if any, aesthetic beauty can play in times of great heartache or grief.’ This could go either way. However, it does remind me of a great book which I read a long time ago: Derek Jarman’s ‘Chroma’, in which Jarman takes us through the spectrum, using each colour as a springboard for memories, dreams, emotions and insights of a man equal parts artist and activist.
If you’ve read Nelson’s ‘Bluets’ maybe you should look this up? You won’t be disappointed.
‘Night Sky with Exit Wounds’ is a collection of poems by Ocean Vuong, which has received rave reviews. I’ve always struggled with poetry, finding it intimidating as I’m never quite sure whether I’ve fully understood. However, it’s time to put my fears to one side and this looks quite the tonic.
Next up, another beautiful Puffin book, ‘The Borrowers’ by Mary Norton
And finally, the film of Marilynne Robinson’s glorious ‘Housekeeping’ finally comes to DVD in the UK. Directed by one of Britain’s most underused and neglected directors, Bill Forsyth (‘Gregory’s Girl’; ‘That Sinking Feeling’; ‘Comfort and Joy’), Housekeeping was released in 1988 and despite good reviews made little impact: but it is a glorious film, a quiet whisper of strange mourning. While the three leads are excellent Christine Lahti, as Sylvie, gives a luminous performance, full of life and the itching, craving need for LIFE.