Posts Tagged ‘Linda Urbach’

Is it my brain or is it the book?

My brain has been a source of worry these past few months because there are a dozen books I’ve purchased with bookmarks in the first third of each book.    I didn’t even finish the last two selections of my book club and they were no Nora Roberts.  Is this the first lunge into dementia?  Is my brain interfering with one of my great passions in life?  Or could the source  be poorly selected books?

I didn’t need a neurologist to tell me the slightly manufactured Frances truth. Mark Arax, Charles Pellegrino  and Linda Urbach took me through their books to the last page without long pauses to prove that those Amyloid Plaques and Tangles have not become uninvited guests. Not yet.

Linda Urbach’s easy to read novel, “Madame Bovary’s Daughter” led me to reread Emma Bovary by Flaubert.

Rereading  Pellegrino’s earliar books such as  “Dust”  itched me all over, but  taught me to look at our six-legged critters through different lenses. I’m reading his earliar published books (” Return to Sodom and Gomorrah”)  as I impatiently wait for his new edition of Last Train from Hiroshima, a book that changed my life drastically. Pellegrino, in my opinion, is a master story writer and has affected my writing deeply.  My review of Pellegrino’s various books are on my blog.

Mark Arax’s “In My Father’s Name” is a must read, folks, for story told and how it’s told.  His  friendship with William Saroyan as a youngster,  reminded me of the first adult book I read as a kid…My Name is Aram by Saroyan. Is it coincidence that Mark’s grandfather was Aram Arax?  “My Name is Aram” is now on my reading list. I added the following review on Arax’s book on Amazon.com. with slight editing.

A web of pure silk, July 5, 2012

By Frances H. Kakugawa

This review is from: In My Father’s Name (Paperback)

Between the pages of this excellent book, I sent quotations from Saroyan to members of the Northern CA Publishers/ Writers. Imagine having a personal relationship with Saroyan. To my writing support group of caregivers, I sent quotations from his grandfather who suffered from dementia. One reader called it a “capsule of humanity.”  To a former resident of Fresno, I bought this book for her birthday. And for myself, I ignored housework and other to-do lists long after I read the last page. Arax is a craftsman  of language;  he weaves different time and historical periods, people, places into his search to dignify his father. Life is not linear in reality and this is carefully presented in the telling of his story. I paused often to relish the use of language.  I sit here stunned over the ugly life that is part of  Fresno’s history and in awe how Arax turned his story into an art form. At the end, he was the one on the white horse.

So for as long as there are well written books out there, I won’t worry about my brain cells. They definitely know good writing when they see it.


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