Paul la Farge
REVIEW BY: Karin Schimke
Rendered rootless and restless as much by the time in which he becomes an adult, as by his fatherless upbringing, an unnamed young man living in San Francisco travels to an Appalachian town to pack up his grandparents’ home after their death.
He’d spent holidays there playing with the next door children Yesim and Kerem, and listening to his grandfather read stories of about man’s history with flight, absorbing that it takes, sometimes, several hundred failures to achieve success.
And so the narrator returns to his past hand-over-hand, incidentally finding out more about his father than ever before, and falling for Yeshim all over again.
Minor and grand failures are told in the same resigned, if not outright disconsolate tone. La Farge has opened up a generation in new and unexpected ways, peeling and layering lightly, to create something odd – and oddly affecting.
∫ La Farge extended his novel on to the web. Check out the interesting project here. ∫
This review first appeared in the Cape Times in November 2012.