Nicole Krauss on Books

Oct 30

There are some authors who entrance me, wordsmiths capable of pulling just the right string at just the right time—capable of putting into words a messy feeling or a moment so complex I would otherwise remain speechless for days. These authors bring characters alive and instill in you messages of effervescent hope, gut-wrenching sadness—teaching you lessons you will never forget or maybe revisiting ones you seem unable to grasp. Authors like these grip me right in the chest on the very first page and keep me tied to their books from beginning to end, urging me to dog ear page after page just to reread and reread quotes I can feel in the very cortex of my being. Such authors are few and far between but once such author for me is Nicole Krauss. She is the author of The History of Love and her recently released 2nd novel, Great House, which I pre-ordered and am now savoring every line, every worded moment within.

In Nicole Krauss’ latest novel, Great House, she writes about books and I really want to share this with you.

I’ve always liked the feeling of traveling light; there is something in me that wants to feel I could leave wherever I am, at any time, without effort. The idea of being weighed down made me uneasy, as if I lived on the surface of a frozen lake and each new trapping of domestic life—a pot, a chair, a lamp—threatened to be the thing that sent me through the ice. The only exception was books, which I acquired freely, because I never really felt they belonged to me. Because of this, I never felt compelled to finish those I didn’t like, or even pressure to like them at all. When at last I came across the right book the feeling was violent: it blew open a hole in me that made my life more dangerous because I couldn’t control what came through it.

[Reading], the thing that had been at the center of my life for as long as I could remember, and which in the past had formed a bulwark against despair…

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