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Summer Reading Project, BookLikes Satellite

Never stop reading. (Content originally posted at Blogger.)

Mãn, by Kim Thúy

Mãn - Kim Thuy, Sheila Fischman

There are some writers who make me think of the way painters work more than anything else. These kind of writers are not so much interested in plot as they are about building up characters or settings with layers of small details like Seurat or Monet. And, just like Impressionist paintings, books by painterly writers have to be viewed both closely and from a distance. Looking closely reveals details about how the writer is working; looking from a distance provides context. Without both perspectives, the meaning of the work gets lost. I’ve been thinking about this metaphor (which I know still needs work) since I finished reading Kim Thúy’s Mãn (translated by Sheila Fischman) last night. The novel is composed in very short chapters, most of them vignettes, that cover the life of the eponymous protagonist. These chapters reveal tensions in culture, gender, history, love, family, and fidelity...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.