The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector & So Much for That Winter by Dorthe Nors

These two books are translations I read for my Read Broader challenge. The Lispector was originally in Portuguese and the Nors was in Danish. I got both from my library. Now, the reason I have these paired together is because 1) they’re very similar in all but story, and 2) I don’t really have much to say about them.

These books were fine. I loved the narrator in The Hour of the Star, his personality and his turn of phrase. The sentences were pretty difficult to make sense of though, and through reading the afterword by Colm Toibin, I learned that that’s actually Lispector’s style, messing around with what a sentence is.

In So Much For That Winter, I could relate to both narrators’ (two novellas in one) depression and ennui with life. I also really appreciated the glimpse into two Danish lives. Each of these novellas was written in a format similar to poetry, though in the second one (the name of which escapes me) it’s more like a list of fourteen items.

So, like, they were neat, but they didn’t blow my mind or anything. I’m finding that I don’t really care much for short novels/novellas. I read a lot of them because they’re short, but I never find them impacting me in any noticeable way. In an earlier draft of this post, I thought I had nothing to say about these books until I actually thought back to how I felt when I was reading them, and realized maybe I did have some thoughts.

All this is just to teach me to stop taking shortcuts on my Goodreads challenge, right?


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