A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Miles Marshall Lewis, Viktor Rydberg, Jakov Polonski, Saki, Christopher Fry, Thomas Strittmatter

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 18 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

Uit: Days of Awe

“Brother on Sunday
She is on the phone. He can see her reflection in the bathroom mirror, the headset wrapped around her ear as if she were an air-traffic controller or a Secret Service agent. “Are you sure?” she whispers. “I can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it. If it’s true, it’s horrible. . . . Of course I don’t know anything! If I knew something, I’d tell you. . . . No, he doesn’t know anything either. If he knew, he’d tell me. We vowed we wouldn’t keep secrets.” She pauses, listening for a moment. “Yes, of course, not a word.”
“Tom,” she calls. “Tom, are you ready?”
“In a minute,” he says.
He examines himself in her makeup mirror. He raises his eyebrows, bares his teeth, smiles. And then he smiles again, harder, showing gum. He tilts his head, left and right, checking where the shadows fall. He turns on the light and flips the mirror to the magnifying side. A thin silver needle enters the reflection; there’s a close-up of skin, the glistening tip of the needle, surrounded by a halo of light. He blinks. The needle goes into the skin; his hand is steady on the syringe. He injects a little here, a little there; it’s just a touch-up, a filler-up. Later, when someone says, “You look great,” he’ll smile and his face will bend gently, but no lines will appear. “Doctor’s orders,” he’ll say. He recaps the syringe, tucks it into his shirt pocket, flips the toilet seat up, and pees.
When he comes out of the bathroom, his wife, Sandy, is there, in the bedroom, waiting. “Who was that on the phone?” he asks.
“Sara,” she says.
He waits, knowing that silence will prompt her to say more.
“Susie called Sara to say that she’s worried Scott is having an affair.”
He says, quite honestly, “Of all people, Scott isn’t someone I’d think would be having an affair.”
“She doesn’t know that he’s having an affair-she just suspects.” Sandy puts her cover-up into a tote bag and hands him his camera. “Can’t leave without this,” she says.
“Thanks,” he says. “Are you ready to go?”
“Check my back,” she says. “I felt something.” She turns, lifting her blouse.
“You have a tick,” he says, plucking it off her.
Somewhere in the summer house, a loud buzzer goes off. “The towels are done,” she says. “Should we take wine?” he asks.
“I packed a bottle of champagne and some orange juice. It is Sunday, after all.”

 
A. M. Homes (Washington DC, 18 december 1961)

 

De Franse schrijfster Mazarine Pingeot werd geboren in Avignon op 18 december 1974. Zie ook alle tags voor Mazarine Pingeot op dit blog.

Uit: Ils m’ont dit qui j’étais

“La comtesse de Ségur et les Jalna
Je dois à la comtesse de Ségur mes premières émotions de lectrice. J’avais quatre ans et je ne savais pas lire. Chaque soir, mon père s’asseyait au bord de mon lit et me lisait deux chapitres d’un de ces romans, que je pouvais dès le lendemain caresser dans la bibliothèque, comme des êtres amis qui détenaient mes mystères.
Le livre a l’apparence d’une boîte hermétique, mais je savais déjà qu’il suffisait de l’ouvrir pour que surgissent mes pensées les plus secrètes, lovées entre les phrases de cette vieille comtesse. Mon père seul avait la clef, même s’il ne connaissait pas le butin de rêves que j’accumulais à l’ombre de ses inflexions de voix.
Son pouvoir absolu sur mon univers intime occasionna de nombreuses disputes : « Et pourquoi pas un troisième chapitre ? » Impossible de m’endormir sans savoir ce que deviendra Paul dans Les Vacances de Paul, dont j’étais parfaitement amoureuse, impossible d’ignorer la tristesse de Sophie – même si je préférais Camille et Madeleine. L’apprentissage de la frustration ne me détourna pas de la lecture, au contraire. Je compris avant l’heure le principe des feuilletons dont je deviendrai fan un peu plus tard, qu’il s’agisse de Dallas ou de Santa Barbara, ce qui ne rivalise en rien – cela pour rassurer les parents inquiets – avec les livres. J’aurais peut-être dû apprendre à lire par moi-même pour échapper à mon aliénation. Mais sans doute me plaisait-elle, alors.
Je ne relirai pas la comtesse de Ségur. Je préfère laisser ainsi vivre dans mes souvenirs ces personnages qui perdraient de leur grandeur, confrontés à l’analyse de la femme de vingt-huit ans que je suis. Ce qui importe, c’est la vague mémoire des moments de bonheur perdus qu’agite en moi la simple évocation des ouvrages de la comtesse de Ségur.”

 
Mazarine Pingeot (Avignon, 18 december 1974)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Miles Marshall Lewis werd geboren op 18 december 1970 in The Bronx, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Miles Marshall Lewis op dit blog.

Uit:The Sound In Our Veins

“In ’87 Miles Davis had been working with Prince—my hero—behind closed doors, and so my ears had been cocked all night long for anything smacking of Madhouse (Prince’s own one-man-band jazz project). Davis’s most recent record Tutu—named for South African activist Desmond Tutu—gets plenty of spins at home. The first album I’d ever spent my own money on at 13 was the Miles Davis live album, My Funny Valentine. I was, naturally, named after him and so his significance to me was cemented. Being a teenager embarrassed by my dad’s (actually pretty cool) outburst might be my major memory of the show. I’d see him again at 20, the year he died.
How would someone young get turned on to jazz, an art form with its most innovative days behind it?
My parents played all kinds of diverse music on our living room’s hi-fi stereo system in the 1970s when I was in my single digits, jazz included. Electric-period Miles Davis was in full swing at the time, and so plenty of Bitches Brew, On the Corner, Get Up with It (I loooved its bluesy “Honky Tonk”) and Big Fun shocked our Bronx apartment. Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters looms large in my memory, funky tracks like “Watermelon Man” and “Chameleon.” Plenty of Quincy Jones. Moms loved Pharoah Sanders’ Karma and “The Creator Has a Master Plan.”
Growing up later as a NYC teenager in a golden age of Hip-Hop, arguably also a golden age of pop, jazz had plenty of competition. My first jazz show wasn’t Miles. A smooth-jazz loving uncle snuck me into a show at the famed Bottom Line jazz club when I was far too young to be there, a 16-year-old watching 16-year-old organist Joey DeFrancesco do his thing. Genuine interest on my part led the family to expose me to stuff like this; none of it felt forced on me. College love connections around the corner seemed more sophisticated with mood music like Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington in the background.
Denzel Washington starred in director Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues in 1990, centered on a conflicted, egocentric jazz trumpeter. Few modern African-American romances exist in Hollywood; me and a whole young black generation were transfixed. A “Mo’ Better Suggested Listening” chapter of Spike’s making-of book featured recommendations by Branford Marsalis, Jeff “Tain” Watts and Terry Blanchard, and I sought out a few. One of my first winter season dance performance shows at Alvin Ailey turned me on to Alice Coltrane’s “Something About John Coltrane,” and Journey in Satchidananda. Seeing tap dancer Savion Glover star in the Broadway musical Black and Blue introduced me to Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood.” I soaked up jazz that moved me wherever I could find it.”

 
Miles Marshall Lewis (New York, 18 december 1970)
Hier met zijn zoontjes

 

De Zweedse dichter en schrijver Viktor Rydberg werd geboren op 18 december 1828 in Jönköping, Zweden. Zie ook alle tags voor Viktor Rydberg op dit blog.

Tomten (Fragment)

Går till stängslet för lamm och får,
ser, hur de sova där inne;
går till hönsen, där tuppen står
stolt på sin högsta pinne;
Karo i hundbots halm mår gott,
vaknar och viftar svansen smått,
Karo sin tomte känner,
de äro gode vänner.

 
Illustratie bij Tomten door Jenny Nyström

The tomte glances at sheep and lambs
Cuddled in quiet rest.
The chickens are next, where the rooster roosts
High above straw filled nests.
Burrowed in straw, hearty and hale,
Karo wakens and wags his tail
As if to say, “Old friend, “Partners we are to the end.”

 
Viktor Rydberg (18 december 1828 – 21 september 1895)
Monument voor Viktor Rydberg in Göteborg

 

De Russische dichter en schrijver Jakov Petrovitsj Polonski werd geboren in Rjazan op 18 december 1819. Zie ook alle tags voor Jakov Polonski op dit blog.

Winter Path

The night was cold looks dull
Under a Mat of my tent,
Under field runners squeaks,
Under the arc of the bell resounds,
And the coachman whipping horses.

Beyond the mountains, the forests, the smoke clouds
Shines gloomy Ghost of the moon.
Howl long hungry wolves
Heard in the fog dense forests.-
I haunted by strange dreams.

I all fancy: if the bench is,
On the bench sat the old woman,
Until midnight yarn spinning,
I loved tales of my says,
Lullaby sings.

And I see in my dreams, as the wolf riding
I’m going down the path of the forest
To fight with the sorcerer-king
In the country where the Princess sits under lock and key,
Smothered behind a solid wall.

There’s the glass Palace is surrounded by gardens
There the fire birds sing at night
And peck Golden fruit,
There babbling key living and the dead key water –
And don’t believe and trust in the eyes.

A cold night just looks dull
Under a Mat of my tent,
Under field runners squeaks,
Under the arc of the bell resounds,
And the coachman whipping horses.

 
Jakov Polonski (18 december 1819 – 30 oktober 1898)

 

De Birmees – Britse schrijver Saki (pseudoniem van Hector Hugh Munro, een naam gekozen uit de Rubaiyat van Omar Khayyam) werd geboren op 18 december 1870 in Akyab, Birma. Zie ook alle tags voor Saki op dit blog.

Uit:The toys of peace

“That is Louis the Fourteenth,” Eric was saying, “that one in knee-breeches, that Uncle said invented Sunday schools. It isn’t a bit like him, but it’ll have to do.” “We’ll give him a purple coat from my paintbox by and by,” said Bertie. “Yes, an’ red heels. That is Madame de Maintenon, that one he called Mrs. Hemans. She begs Louis not to go on this expedition, but he turns a deaf ear. He takes Marshal Saxe with him, and we must pretend that they have thousands of men with them. The watchword is Qui vive? and the answer is L’etat c’est moi — that was one of his favourite remarks, you know. They land at Manchester in the dead of the night, and a Jacobite conspirator gives them the keys of the fortress.” Peeping in through the doorway Harvey observed that the municipal dust-bin had been pierced with holes to accommodate the muzzles of imaginary cannon, and now represented the principal fortified position in Manchester; John Stuart Mill had been dipped in red ink, and apparently stood for Marshal Saxe. “Louis orders his troops to surround the Young Women’s Christian Association and seize the lot of them. ‘Once back at the Louvre and the girls are mine,’ he exclaims. We must use Mrs. Hemans again for one of the girls; she says ‘Never,’ and stabs Marshal Saxe to the heart.” “He bleeds dreadfully,” exclaimed Bertie, splashing red ink liberally over the facade of the Association building. “The soldiers rush in and avenge his death with the utmost savagery. A hundred girls are killed” — here Bertie emptied the remainder of the red ink over the devoted building— “and the surviving five hundred are dragged off to the French ships. ‘I have lost a Marshal,’ says Louis, tut I do not go back empty-handed.— Harvey stole away from the room, and sought out his sister. “Eleanor,” he said, “the experiment—” “Yes?” “Has failed. We have begun too late.”

 
Saki (18 december 1870 – 14 november 1916)
Cover Spaans luisterboek

 

De Britse toneelschrijver Christopher Fry, pseudoniem van Christopher Harris, werd geboren in Bristol op 18 december 1907. Zie ook alle tags voor Christopher Fry op dit blog.

Uit: The Dark is Light Enough

“GELD A. Yours may not, but mine may. I meant
To love you. Moreover, I meant I should be loved.
Solemnly to God I said so.
GETTNE R. ! b ite so.
But when promises are merely hopes, and hopes
Aren’t realized, where are the promises kept ?
GELDA. In me, it would seem.
GETTNE R. I see. And I see as well
Strange possibilities.
GELDA. You needn’t think
I Shalltake less care for your safety than I would
If I were still your wife.
GETTNER. You can now tell me
Why you talk to me like this ? With no
Confidence at all , I’m bound to ask you
Am I loved in any way ? I know I’m not,
But, for my own good, I Should like
This conversation well defined.
GELDA. Richard,
There ’s no definition. I was turning back
To some old thoughts . Some sort of love there was,
But whether it left me or whether I turned from it
It became remote. Sometimes
You can watch a single bird flying over
Towards the vague mountains , until you no longer know
Whether you see or imagine where it is.
I have a feeling of no definition.
A dead husband and a dead wife
Perpetuated in a sacrament.
GELDA. The dead may have a thought, but no more deeds.
GETTNER. Now which of us has the fear ?
You may have withdrawn the words , but they implied
A kindness which you can’ t help leaving with me,
Which has to be confirmed. My curiosity
IS great ; I begin to wonder who you are.
[He kisses
How dead are the husband and the wife ? No words , now.
And yet I also wonder how it must feel
To be so close to a living body
Which in a question of hours may well
Be dead, gone, and promising to be rotten?”

 
Christopher Fry (18 december 1907 – 30 juni 2005)
Scene uit een opvoering in Gateshead, 1956

 

De Duitse schrijver Thomas Strittmatter werd geboren op 18 december 1961 in St. Georgen in het Zwarte Woud. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Strittmatter op dit blog.

Uit: Der Polenweiher

„HUNGERBÜHLER […] Und warum, frag ich dich, warum schwätzt du dann die ganz Zeit, als ob sie noch lebendig wär? Die ganz Zeit. Und warum guckst du mich immer so an? Glaubst, du könntest sie wieder lebendig schwätzen? Nimmt den Hammer.Tote soll man tot sein lassen.
Die beiden arbeiten stumm weiter
HUNGERBÜHLERIN Weißt du, was der Kommissär neulich zu mir gesagt hat?
HUNGERBÜHLER War ich dabei?
HUNGERBÜHLERIN lächelt Nein, das warst du net.
HUNGERBÜHLER Und was hat er gesagt, dein Herr Kommissär?
HUNGERBÜHLERIN Daß ich schöne Händ hab.
HUNGERBÜHLER lacht kurz auf. Räuspert sich, spuckt.
HUNGERBÜHLERIN Wart, vielleicht bring ich es noch zusammen: Wisse, noch liegt Blutschuld auf der Stadt. Von deiner Hand.
HUNGERBÜHLER bleibt im Schlag wie erstarrt stehen. Läßt seinen Hammer langsam sinken.“
(…)

„KOMMISSAR […] Meine Ermittlungen sind abgeschlossen. Ich danke für Speis und Trank. Ganz besonders verabschiede ich mich von Ihnen, Hungerbühler. Hochachtung, ich weiß, was für einen Mann ich vor mir habe.
HUNGERBÜHLER Danke, Herr Kommissar.
KOMMISSAR Sind Sie eigentlich UK gestellt?
HUNGERBÜHLER Jawohl, Herr Kommissar.
KOMMISSAR Schön für Sie, Hungerbühler, sehr schön. Denn bald wird es richtig hart auf hart gehen. Sie wissen, was man munkelt. Die Yan-kies, die Ami! Kein Spaziergang mehr, wie in Polen. Aber unver-drossen weiter. Des Lebens Fackel wollten wir entzünden/Ein Feu-ermeer umschlingt uns, welch ein Feuer.“

 
Thomas Strittmatter (18 december 1961 – 29 augustus 1995)
Poster voor een opvoering in Frankfurt am Main, 2005

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 18e december ook mijn blog van 18 december 2016 deel 2.

A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Miles Marshall Lewis, Viktor Rydberg, Jakov Polonski, Saki, Christopher Fry, Thomas Strittmatter

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 18 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

Uit: Jack

“So, how’s Mom?” he asked.
“Okay.”
“And school?”
“The same.”
“Max?”
I nodded. It was his checklist. Every time we were together we went through this. He ran down his list of people, events, even actual objects that were in my life.
“Basketball?”
“The garden’s doing real well, and I think Max is getting back to sort of normal.”
I said it all at once to save him the trouble of having to hit on each thing, one at a time.
He smiled. “Good.”
We were quiet.
“When you’re ready, I want to take you to get your license.”
“That’s okay. Michael said he would. His car is smaller anyway.”
I flipped the visor back up into the ceiling.
“I want to, Jack. Is that all right?”
He reached across the car, swept my hair off my face, and rubbed my cheek with the back of his hand. “Yeah, sure, we’ll see,” I said.
“How about dinner Wednesday?” he asked as he pulled up in front of our house.
I nodded.
“We’ll go someplace nice, just you and me. Pick you up around seven.”
“Yeah, okay. See you,” I said as I got out.
He put the car in gear and pulled away without checking his mirrors. Luckily, nothing was coming. I worry about him. Sometimes I’m not sure his receiver is on the hook, if you know what I mean. I watched the blue Volvo creep down the street and wondered how I’d ever get it to fit in the goddamned parallel-parking place at the Motor Vehicle Administration.
“Salvation Army’s coming tomorrow,” Michael said when I walked into the kitchen. He was chopping vegetables with something that looked like the ax George Washington must have used when he cut down his cherry tree.”

 
A. M. Homes (Washington DC, 18 december 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Miles Marshall Lewis, Viktor Rydberg, Jakov Polonski, Saki, Christopher Fry, Thomas Strittmatter”

A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Miles Marshall Lewis

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 18 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

Uit: Vergeef ons (Gerda Baardman en Wim Scherpenisse)

“Wil je mijn recept voor rampspoed?
De waarschuwing: vorig jaar, Thanksgiving bij hen thuis. Twintig, dertig mensen aan tafeltjes die vanuit de eetkamer de zitkamer in zwermden en bij het pianobankje abrupt ophielden. Hij zat aan het hoofd van de grote tafel stukjes kalkoen tussen zijn tanden uit te peuteren en over zichzelf te praten. Ik bleef naar hem kijken terwijl ik met dienbladen heen en weer liep tussen de keuken en de eetkamer, en mijn vingertoppen in allerlei onbenoembare troep terechtkwamen: cranberrysaus, zoete aardappelen, een koud zilveruitje, kraakbeen. Bij elk tripje van de eetkamer naar de keuken haatte ik hem meer. Elke zonde uit onze jeugd, te beginnen met zijn geboorte, kwam weer terug. Hij kwam elf maanden na mij ter wereld, meteen al ziekelijk – zuurstoftekort tijdens de bevalling – en daardoor heeft hij veel te veel aandacht gekregen. Ik heb herhaaldelijk geprobeerd hem duidelijk te maken hoe afschuwelijk hij is, maar hij blijft zich gedragen alsof hij een geschenk van de goden aan de mensheid is. Ze noemden hem George. Hij werd graag Geo genoemd, want dat klonk interessant, wetenschappelijk, wiskundig, analytisch. Ik noemde hem Geode, sedimentair gesteente. Zijn bovennatuurlijke zelfvertrouwen en zijn goddelijk arrogante hoofd met de blonde, rechtopstaande plukken haar trokken de aandacht, maakten de indruk dat hij iets wist. Mensen vroegen zijn mening, wilden dat hij met hen meedeed, maar ik heb zijn charme nooit gezien. Tegen de tijd dat we respectievelijk tien en elf waren, was hij langer dan ik, breder, sterker. ‘Weet je wel zeker dat hij niet van de slager is?’ vroeg mijn vader weleens voor de grap. Dan lachte niemand.
Ik liep af en aan met zware schalen, borden en aangekoekte ovenschotels, en niemand merkte dat er hulp nodig was, George niet en ook zijn twee kinderen niet, of zijn belachelijke vrienden die eigenlijk zijn werknemers zijn, onder wie een jonge weervrouw en diverse nieuwslezers, zowel mannelijk als vrouwelijk, die stijf rechtop zaten met hun Ken- en Barbie-haar strak in de lak, en ook mijn Chinees-Amerikaanse vrouw Claire niet, die een hekel aan kalkoen had en nooit naliet ons eraan te herinneren dat een feestmaal in haar familie uit geroosterde eend met kleefrijst bestond. George’ vrouw, Jane, had de hele dag gekookt, schoongemaakt en eten opgediend, en stond nu botjes en etensrestjes van de borden en schalen in een gigantische vuilnisbak te schrapen.”

 
A. M. Homes (Washington DC, 18 december 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Miles Marshall Lewis”

A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Thomas Strittmatter, Miles Marshall Lewis, Saki

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 16 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

Uit:This Book Will Save Your Life

“Did you notice the hole?” Richard asks Cecelia, the housekeeper, as he is eating breakfast.
“What hole?”
“Look out the window, there’s a big dent like the kind of place a UFO might have landed if you believe in that kind of thing.”
“The only things I believe in are God and a clean house. Are you going to put your headphones on or do I have to talk to you all day.” Cecelia takes her can of Endust to the window and looks out. “Not only is there a hole,” Cecelia says. “There’s a horse in the hole.”
He stops eating and goes to the glass.
There is a horse in the center of the hole, eating grass. Again, he thinks of the signs on the telephone poles at the bottom of the hill. “UFO? You Are Not Alone.”
“Don’t just stare at it,” Cecelia says.
Richard goes outside, stands with his feet on the edge of the hole—it is definitely deeper than it was two hours ago. The horse looks up.
“Are you stuck?” Richard asks the horse. “Can you climb out? Come out, while it’s not so deep.”
The horse doesn’t move. Richard goes back into the house “He doesn’t want to come out,” Richard says to Cecelia.
“A horse in a hole is like a salt shaker in a coffee cup,” Cecelia says. “It makes no sense.”
“The horse got into the hole, he must know how to get out of the hole.” Richard goes to the window. Now there’s a coyote standing at the edge of the hole, or at least he thinks it’s a coyote. It’s standing at the edge of the hole menacing the horse, and the horse is frightened.
Richard looks around for Cecelia—she’s vacuuming in the living room. He picks up his noise-canceling headphones, takes two metal pot lids from the kitchen and goes back outside, banging the lids together like cymbals, yelling, “Scram. Go away and be gone.” The coyote runs.
The horse sighs, flares his lips, blinks at Richard.”

 
A. M. Homes (Washington DC,16 december 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Thomas Strittmatter, Miles Marshall Lewis, Saki”

A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Thomas Strittmatter, Miles Marshall Lewis

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 16 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

Uit: Jack

“Are you all right?” I yelled out the window.
“What did you do that for?” my father asked.
I shrugged. A car isn’t a car, I thought to myself, it’s a machine.
“It wasn’t exactly planned,” I said. “Should I try again?” He picked up the orange pylons and threw them into the trunk. Guess not, I thought.
“Why don’t we call it a day,” he said.
I wanted to drive. I wanted to keep going, forward. I wanted to break out onto the highway, put my foot to the floor, turn on the radio, and sing along.
“I can drive,” I said. “I mean, I do have my learner’s.”
“I know,” my father said. “But I can’t teach you. I just can’t,” I slid across to the passenger side. My shirt stuck to the driver’s seat, and then it pulled away with a soft sucking sound.
“Jack, don’t get me wrong. I’m just not a teacher.”
He pulled out onto the parkway. He didn’t spin his head around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. He didn’t look in all forty directions at once, the way Vernon said you should.
“Maybe we can try again in a couple of days,” he said.
“It’s just the parallel parking that seems to be a problem. We can work on it.”
I pulled the visor down and looked at myself in the clip-on mirror.
My face floated, weightless, unmarked. The skin was clean and white, with freckles. My face floated, unlike my father’s, which seemed thick and heavy, broken by the lines around his mouth and eyes.”

 
A. M. Homes (Washington DC,16 december 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Thomas Strittmatter, Miles Marshall Lewis”

A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Miles Marshall Lewis

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 16 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

Uit: May We Be Forgiven

“Do you want my recipe for disaster?
The warning sign: last year, Thanksgiving at their house. Twenty or thirty people were at tables spreading from the dining room into the living room and stopping abruptly at the piano bench. He was at the head of the big table, picking turkey out of his teeth, talking about himself. I kept watching him as I went back and forth carrying plates into the kitchen — the edges of my fingers dipping into unnameable goo — cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, a cold pearl onion, gristle. With every trip back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen, I hated him more. Every sin of our childhood, beginning with his birth, came back. He entered the world eleven months after me, sickly at first, not enough oxygen along the way, and was given far too much attention. And then, despite what I repeatedly tried to tell him about how horrible he was, he acted as though he believed he was a gift of the gods. They named him George. Geo, he liked to be called, like that was something cool, something scientific, mathematical, analytical. Geode, I called him — like a sedimentary rock. His preternatural confidence, his divinely arrogant head dappled with blond threads of hair lifted high drew the attention of others, gave the impression that he knew something. People solicited his opinions, his participation, while I never saw the charm. By the time we were ten and eleven, he was taller than me, broader, stronger. “You sure he’s not the butcher’s boy?” my father would ask jokingly. And no one laughed.
I was bringing in heavy plates and platters, casseroles caked with the debris of dinner, and no one noticed that help was needed — not George, not his two children, not his ridiculous friends, who were in fact in his employ, among them a weather girl and assorted spare anchormen and -women who sat stiff-backed and hair-sprayed like Ken and Barbie, not my Chinese-American wife, Claire, who hated turkey and never failed to remind us that her family used to celebrate with roast duck and sticky rice. George’s wife, Jane, had been at it all day, cooking and cleaning, serving, and now scraping bones and slop into a giant trash bin.”

 
A. M. Homes (Washington DC,16 december 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Miles Marshall Lewis”

A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Miles Marshall Lewis

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 16 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

 

Uit: Music for Torching

[Their own home damaged by a fire, Elaine and her husband, Paul, are staying with their suburban neighbors, Pat and George. It is a weekday morning; the kids are at school, the husbands left for work hours ago.]

Elaine is awake. She is embarrassed to have slept late. She lies in the bed thinking that what she has to do now is get up, get dressed, and go home. She has to fix the house, fix herself, and focus on what comes next. She has to plan for the future. Her plan is to go downstairs, have a quick cup of coffee, and then go home.

Pat is in the kitchen. She is on the phone and also ironing. “Good morning,” she whispers to Elaine.

“Morning,” Elaine says.

The coffeepot is on. Elaine pours herself a cup and leans against the counter. Pat is still in her robe. Her hair is a mess. On the table is a bowl of pineapple slices, left over from the night before — no muffins, no warm morning pastries, no fresh-baked bread. Elaine checks the clock — ten A.M. How odd.

Pat in her robe, Pat serving leftovers. If Pat can’t keep it together, who can?

Pat is smiling at Elaine, practically grinning. Why?

“What?” Elaine asks.

“You’re so lovely,” Pat says, and Elaine isn’t sure if Pat is talking to her or the person on the phone.

Elaine sits down with her coffee and begins reading the paper. In the background Pat is ordering lamb. “Page forty-three. Could I have three racks and then one leg?”

Elaine had never heard of anyone having meat mailed to them.

“Over the phone. Door to door. Hardware, underwear, shoes, food, everything,” Pat says as she’s hanging up. “It saves me so much time.” Pat sprays starch on the last of the shirts and digs in, wrestling the wrinkles“

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A. M. Homes (Washington DC,16 december 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Miles Marshall Lewis”