Wednesday, October 01, 2008
78. "Shakespeare's Kitchen" - Lore Segal
This is art imitating life - real conversations, true to the ear reflections about others, and flawed characters. While shopped as a book of short stories about the same characters, it contains the arc of a dramatic moment without all of the answers and resolutions.
Ilka is the heroine of the majority of the stories. Asked to work for a Connecticut group ("think tank" comes to mind), she struggles to make friends and acquaintances among the best in writing and reading. She finds companionship with the Shakespeares who open their arms to bring her into the circle.
However, Ilka still retains her sense of amazement, of curiosity and honesty. She is a pain in the ass, a snoop, an exhausted mom, a brilliant scholar (though "what" she does is never told), and a sensualist. She would be my friend because I would love her questions.
A runner-up for the 2008 Pulitzer, this is a book to read if you are enamored by sparse description, but lovely, spare sentences that completely reveal a person's character.
3.75 out of 5.0 Bourbon Crushers.