Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recommended Reading: Mink River

"...and their thoughts were various and intricate beyond understanding, being composed of yearning and content and joy and despair in unequal measures, but each one, male and female alike, young and old, walked with an elevated spirit, and was memorious of the old nun, who had a laugh like the peal of a bell, and was unfailingly tender with everyone, and cut her own hair, and twirled a lock of her hair with her right hand while she wrote with her left, and sang exuberantly, and never buttoned the top button of her coat, and never lost her temper with her students, and loved to watch storms at sea, and carried her worn wooden prayer beads everywhere, and knocked on doors with both hands at once, and wore only red hats, and gave away books after she read them, and wept sometimes for no reason she knew, and loved to walk along the beach, and ended each walk along the beach by staring longingly out to sea, and was fond of saying to Moses, as she undid her coat after a walk and hung up her hat and set the teapot going on the stove, Our paths are in the mighty waters, Moses, and so are holy and hidden."
~MINK River, by Brian Doyle.

I highly recommend the read, thanks to my kindred-story-loving-spirit Judy for introducing me to the lives of the inhabitants of Neawanaka. From the back cover: "In a distinctive and lyrical voice, Doyle tells the town, in all its humanness and oddity and beauty. There are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, brawls and boats, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. There's a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman addicted to Puccini, beer and berries, and a philosophizing crow [Moses]. Readers will close the book more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon..."

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