Friday, June 8, 2012

Siri Hustvedt’s The Sorrows of an American

Nicely written. The psychiatrist narrator ruminates about his father’s youth while he and his sister go to great lengths to discover the secret he took to his death.

I must agree with the Amazon reviewer who wrote that the book was ”Interesting But Not Totally Satisfying.”  The title is not helpful. This book defies titling. Virtually all the characters seemed normal--experiencing rather mild sorrows that didn’t warrant the trauma designation the publisher gave them. Such is life. And if these Americans had these sorrows, what do we call the routine tragedies of the normal lives of the citizens of so many other countries? Iraq? Burundi? Bangladesh? Perhaps this is the author’s message.

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