Sometimes one book per country isn’t enough. Now that I’m on the lookout for international authors, their books jump out at me and I can’t refuse them even if I’ve already covered their territory. I’ve sneaked these books in between my “official” reading. I thought I’d share them with you.
In a Strange Room: Three Journeys
by Damon Galgut
Europa Editions, 2010 • 207 pgs
Summary: A man goes on three long journeys, each time accompanied by a different person. By turns, he plays the part of follower, lover, and guardian (the names of the three sections of the book), or more honestly, the would-be follower, lover and guardian because he never fully commits to any of those roles. A haunting look at identity and missed emotional connections.
World Lit Up Rating:
(On a scale of 1-5, with 1 book = turned off and 5 books = lit up)
A journey is a gesture inscribed in space, it vanishes even as it’s made. You go from one place to another place, and on to somewhere else again, and already behind you there is no trace that you were ever there. The roads you went down yesterday are full of different people now, none of them knows who you are. In the room you slept in last night a stranger lies in the bed. Dust covers over your footprints, the marks of your fingers are wiped off the door, from the floor and table the bits and pieces of evidence that you might have dropped are swept up and thrown away and they never come back again. The very air closes behind you like water and soon your presence, which felt so weighty and permanent, has completely gone. Things happen once only and are never repeated, never return. Except in memory.