Poetry Madness
 
 

Find Books


Read the City


Win Free Books!


PowellsBooks.news


Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview



Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin 9781616203214

spacer

Customer Comments

David Burke has commented on (3) products.

Farther Away: Essays by Jonathan Franzen
Farther Away: Essays

David Burke, July 27, 2012

While seeking a book to read for a recent long flight from Oslo's Rygge airport to Paphos, Cyprus, I happily discovered the last English copy of Jonanthan Franzen's book of essays, Farther Away, in a Horten, Norway bookstore. What caught my eye was the essay title, "The Ugly Mediterranean." I snapped it up and while paying, told the store clerk how Franzen's book "Freedom" had helped revive my marriage by teaching me the value of acceptance.

"The Ugly Mediterranean" turned out to be Franzen's first-hand account of a recent bird-watching visit to Cyprus, which ended up with he and his activist colleagues being chased by violent local thugs for disrupting the illegal trapping of endangered migratory song birds. The story, which also embraced Malta and Italy, sheds light on the challenge of some Mediterranean country members of the European Union to adapt centuries-old traditions, such as the snaring of song birds, to prohibitive environmental directives set by the EU. The story transcends its specific topic to convey cultural insight into maybe why some EU countries are having such a difficult time balancing their fiscal budgets.

Farther Away is much more than "The Ugly Mediterranean." This richly intelligent book also includes deeply personal essays about love, loss, solitude and growth, as well as Franzen's eloquent expression of grief over the death of his good friend, the author David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008. The title of the book derives from Franzen's journey to one of the world's most remote islands, Alejandro Selkirk, off the coast of Chile. Locals refer to the island by its original name, Masafuera, which translates from Spanish to English as "farther away."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



Farther Away
Farther Away

David Burke, July 27, 2012

While seeking a book to read for a recent long flight from Oslo's Rygge airport to Paphos, Cyprus, I happily discovered the last English copy of Jonanthan Franzen's book of essays, Farther Away, in a Horten, Norway bookstore. What caught my eye was the essay title, "The Ugly Mediterranean." I snapped it up and while paying, told the store clerk how Franzen's book "Freedom" had helped revive my marriage by teaching me the value of acceptance.

"The Ugly Mediterranean" turned out to be Franzen's first-hand account of a recent bird-watching visit to Cyprus, which ended up with he and his activist colleagues being chased by violent local thugs for disrupting the illegal trapping of endangered migratory song birds. The story, which also embraced Malta and Italy, sheds light on the challenge of some Mediterranean country members of the European Union to adapt centuries-old traditions, such as the snaring of song birds, to prohibitive environmental directives set by the EU. The story transcends its specific topic to convey cultural insight into maybe why some EU countries are having such a difficult time balancing their fiscal budgets.

Farther Away is much more than "The Ugly Mediterranean." This richly intelligent book also includes deeply personal essays about love, loss, solitude and growth, as well as Franzen's eloquent expression of grief over the death of his good friend, the author David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008. The title of the book derives from Franzen's journey to one of the world's most remote islands, Alejandro Selkirk, off the coast of Chile. Locals refer to the island by its original name, Masafuera, which translates from Spanish to English as "farther away."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



David Burke, August 10, 2009

I stumbled on this novel about a writer living through the repressive Sukarno regime in Indonesia at Portland's Multnomah County Library in the 1970s. It made a huge impression on me. Exotic, evocative and disturbing, it introduced me to the complexities and very different realities of the developing world, to which I have traveled to many times since with work. I had the great fortune to meet an Indonesian journalist outside Oslo City Hall, the evening Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, who had actually met Mr. Lubis. Twilight in Djakarta is, according to Wikipedia, the first Indonesian novel translated into English.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.