Saturday, August 25, 2007

Reviews Coming in for Amy Bloom's Latest


The reviews are coming in for Amy Bloom's new novel, Away. Here's one from The Guardian, another from The New York Times, and from The Washington Post.

Even Lionel Shriver has something to say about Amy Bloom:

The pleasures of "Away" are the ordinary pleasures of extraordinary novels: finely wrought prose, vivid characters, delectable details. There's a soft-smile, along-the-way humor. A business card condenses one character's whole frustrated life: "Yaakov Shimmelman / Tailor, Actor, Playwright / Author of The Eyes of Love / Pants pressed and altered." Having been given a thesaurus to help her learn English, Lillian tends to think in synonyms -- as when Meyer is late for their first rendezvous: "It is rude (crass, inelegant, uncouth, and also lacking in social refinement)." Employed deftly and never overused, the device is charming.

Not that I need any critics or reviewers to convince me to look out for her latest book. I'm an Amy Bloom fan since I first read her short story collection, Come to Me. (How I came to pick up Come to Me though, is another story.) Her writing is sparkling, and her characters raw with yearnings and insecurities - yet there is a palpable compassion in Bloom's prose, an understanding, and forgiveness of human vunerability. Amy Bloom makes me feel the grief and heartaches of characters caught in situations I have never been before, and that is the most powerful sort of writing around - the power to create empathy.

2 comments:

Nymeth said...

I've never read anything by Amy Bloom, but you got me interested. I very much agree with your last sentences. I love books that allow me to understand what people in situations that are completely alien to me are feeling.

Dark Orpheus said...

Please do try to pick up a copy of Amy Bloom's short stories if you can. They are so beautiful. I always wondered if her psychological insight into her characters has anything to do with her training as a psychitrists - the ability to understand and empathise with her clients, the ability to listen and pay attention.