Friday, June 19, 2009

"A Widow for One Year" by John Irving

I am in developing countries for eleven days with no gastrointestinal issues. I am back in the US for one full day, and I get food poisoning.

When I wasn't listening to the tv, on the couch in the fetal position, I was finishing "A Widow for One Year". Irving's books are unlike anything else--so rich and full and the stories skip along at such a lively pace that you feel completely sunken into another world.

The protagonist in "A Widow for One Year" is a literary writer, and at one point she's plotting her next novel. Of course I wondered if her method is how Irving crafts his stories. There's an interview with Irving at the end of my edition of this book, and after reading it I think their processes probably are similar. Although I still have no idea how he composes such foie-gras-fed stories.

Also in the interview, Irving address criticism that he's a sentimentalist. Who knew Amsterdam prostitutes, abortion, Vietnam, or feminism were sentimental concerns? They're just the stuff of freaking good stories.


Renee Thompson said...


1. Welcome home.

2. Get well soon.

3. !!!

Michelle Panik said...

Thanks, Renee. It sounds like you are keeping yourself busy this summer with exciting writing!