October 3, 2017

Full disclosure: I love Nicole Krauss. I have a history with her. It started when I randomly bought The History of Love on the way to live in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, only to realise later that part of the novel is set there. My husband and I have bonded over her. My daughter is named after one of her characters. I am evangelical about her work in the most annoying of ways. I came to this book open, ready and determined to love it. I did not. 

I had also assumed this review would centre around around the inevitable comparisons to Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest tome Here I Am. As her ex-husband’s work –– about a pre-divorce Brooklynite coming to terms with his life, broken relationships, his understanding of Judaism and connection to Israel –– bears a certain resemblance to this book (about a pre-divorce Brooklynite coming to terms with her life, broken relationships, her understandi...

September 11, 2016

I have a daughter. She’s five, and so endlessly smart, funny and good that Foer himself could have written her. But I’m constantly pulling her up on the slightest thing; a slump, a delay, a bit too much cheek. She’s just so very close - to what, I don’t know - that I feel the need to pick away at the little things. And so it is With Here I Am.

This is an epic, ambitious, stimulating, layered, witty and insightful book. It’s magnificent, truly. And yet.

The standards for Jonathan Safran Foer are considerably higher. Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close is a constant in my ever-changing top 5 books. And, as expected, Here I Am is one of the most interesting books I’ve read in years. But I still feel compelled to pick it apart. It has everything piled into it, but it’s at once too much and not enough, it’s painfully sharp but then seems lost in the fog of whatever point it’s trying to make, it...

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