The Chosen by Elizabeth Lowry
Yet Tom was oblivious. A writer engrossed in his work, he failed to notice her discontent. Although they lived separately within the same house, he thought things were fine. After all, they had to be: in the early years of the twentieth century, despite his closeness to another woman, divorce was out of the question. Especially for a man in the public eye.
You’ve probably read some of Tom’s novels. I certainly have. But knowing very little about his life, I enjoyed learning about him here. However I’ve kept him anonymous until now – it’s Thomas Hardy – as this is not only a story of celebrity but a beautifully written meditation on grief. Thanks to publishers riverrun for my review copy.
So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ translated by
Although, through her education and her trade unionist husband’s previously liberal attitudes, she has had more freedom than many of her female compatriots, her choices are constrained by patriarchy. She was powerless when her husband took their eldest daughter’s school friend as a second wife, leaving her struggling to pay the bills. Then – although it’s possible I didn’t understand this properly – tradition dictated that she lose her possessions on his death.
The author’s rage screams through the pages but, while I sympathise deeply, I didn’t feel fully engaged with the story. Perhaps that’s because of the gaps in my pre-existing knowledge. Nevertheless, I’m glad I finally got around to reading this African classic that has sat on my bookshelf for a couple of years and to add another country to my reading the world web page.
When she didn’t cry at the hospital, they said it hadn’t hit her yet. When she didn’t cry at the funeral, they decided she was still in shock. But when they called in to check up on her and she remained dry eyed, they wondered if she really missed him, if their marriage had died before he did. Feeling redundant around her, they saw her less and less. So it was a while before they discovered she was on a psych ward. There, as her tears spilled how water falls, they said she should be over it by now.