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by Per Petterson
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It is a kind of enchantment, to be lured so completely into the life of this character.
This theory of vacation books, which I subscribe to so heartily, all began with a vacation I took, to London, which was one of the worst decisions I ever made, and the book I took along, Banvard’s Folly, which was one of the best.
In the midst of anarchists and chaos, he offers uncommon sympathy and grace in a marriage lost then found, and redemption from what we fear most, that we can’t run from who we are, that the past is waiting to ambush us.
The MacArthur grant awards $500,000, “no strings attached” to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”
Carson McCullers attains a level of virtuosity on many fronts, but I was most taken with her depiction of relationships, many of which balance on a knife edge of propriety, wavering back and forth between the lovely and the weird and the outright perverse.
If resonating with the work of either Hemingway or Sebald is enough to make a novel good, Out Stealing Horses, with its echoes of both, is a rare book indeed.