Monday, March 30, 2020

Five of the best books about time

Samantha Harvey is the author of four novels, The Wilderness, All Is Song, Dear Thief and The Western Wind, and of a memoir, The Shapeless Unease. She lives in Bath, UK, and is a Reader in creative writing at Bath Spa University.

At the Guardian, Harvey shared her favorite "books that play with present, past and future," including:
One of the many achievements of Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger is a dramatising of the push-pull of time, its vast elasticity. The elasticity, too, of memory, of memories played and plundered over and over, from different points in time and different characters’ points of view. “Chronology irritates me,” says the novel’s protagonist, Claudia. “There is no chronology inside my head.” And so unravels the contents of that head in a startling, fractured personal history.

The moon tiger of the novel’s title is the name given to a mosquito coil which burns through the night – just as Claudia’s life also burns out, is purged, is consumed by the passing of time. What most resists the flames is her sorrow over something that never was. Isn’t this true? That the things we most often regret are not those we did, but those we didn’t do.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue