Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week 5: Why Haven't You Written? by Nadine Gordimer

Failure when undertaking a project or a job is inevitable - whether it be large or small. I understand that, and will therefore count "Why Haven't You Written?" as my first failure of the year.

Let me say first why I failed to complete this book. Although the author was a Nobel Prize winner in Literature, I  don't think her style was appealing to me - as a layperson. I was lost nearly all of the time, just hoping to get through it to get to the next book on my list. No offense, Ms. Gordimer. You're a pretty smart lady. This book may have just been your one "miss" in a series of "hits".

Although it seems completely stupid, it would have helped to have some sort of indication that this book was a series of short stories prior to beginning it. Instead, I was in the middle of the fourth chapter, trying to figure out why there seemed to be no connection between any of the characters mentioned in previous chapters. I finally saw the footnote on the back of the book that it was a "volume of stories", however, there was no preface stating this.

Anyway, I got to page 95 of this small print book that was chock full of winding descriptions, tangents, and flustering similes that took a concerted effort to understand, then even more effort to reincorporate that understanding back into the context. I couldn't get past the tiny details to understand the meaning of the story.

I will never pick a book again just because it has the word "Nobel" on the front cover. Blech, blech, blech. Thank goodness I borrowed it from the library.

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