Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Boat by Nam Le (4/5)

The back says: The seven stories in Nam Le’s masterful collection takes us across the globe from the slums of Colombia to Iowa City; from the streets of Tehran to a foundering vessel in the South China Sea. They guide us to the heart of what it means to be human – and herald the arrival of a remarkable new writer.

I say: I have seen so many discussions concerning the authenticity of Le’s writing, but I’m not going to bother myself with that. Some of what is written in the stories is a bit questionable, or maybe I should say it’s a slightly cliché, but at the same time I feel as though judging the author based on his past experience can be a slippery slope that I like to stay clear of.

I have fallen in love with the way Le writes, and his language in most of these stories. He writes in that alluring, almost poetic prose that I adore, and completely draws you into whatever world it is he’s created.

Without touching too much upon the previous paragraph, most of the voices he uses do come across as realistic and beautiful. But I have to say that what really made an impression on me where the endings; even of the stories that didn’t really interest me.
Le has a way of just making me stop and reflect on myself, my life and my experiences based on a few final sentences.


Favourite stories: Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice, Hiroshima and The Boat.

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