I love the colors especially.
As part of tonight's theme posts, the book I pulled at random is Jean Rhys' Left Bank and Other Stories. In hardcover.
These are short stories by the author Jean Rhys, most famous today for Wide Saragossa Sea but my personal favorite of her novels is After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie.
Some of the short stories read like short stories, some read like workshop exercises (as she plays with and explores themes she'll handle more in depth in her novels). But there are some real gems in there. For me, the finest short story in the volume is "Mixing Cocktails."
Jean Rhys could say so much with so little. Her writing was at once detached and also icy cold.
I had just finished Jean Rhys' novels. In fact, I'd read them on the road as C.I. and I went around speaking out against the war on Vietnam. And we'd been on the road for eight or nine months straight and decided we had earned a real vacation. So we went to France where the beach season was over and we could stay and have some space to ourselves.
C.I. found the Jean Rhys book for me at this huge bookstore in Paris. I should remember the name of it. I'm sure it's in C.I.'s journals. (For years, that's been my excuse for everything, "I don't have to remember it because C.I. journaled about it!")
I can't remember what she was reading except it was a comic novel (maybe it was Edith Wharton but I was thinking it was something more contemporary). So there we were on the empty beach, with a bottle or two of wine, laying out there and enjoying the sound of the surf as we read (and smoked -- we were both doing at least two packs a day back then).
I can remember finishing a story and, each time, looking up and over at the ocean.
A cloudy, empty beach with a rolling surf. Possibly the best way to read Jean Rhys.
Be sure to read:
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
the associated press
ayas hossam acommok