Good Reads: ‘Snow’ |

Good Reads: ‘Snow’

Barbara Perlman Whyman

With the freshly-fallen snow comes time to curl up with a good book about this season’s favorite visitor.

In 2004 prize-winning Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk’s “Snow” was translated into English and quickly became a New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year. Pamuk, jailed in his own land, was hailed by the Times as “a great and almost irresistibly beguiling…novelist. ‘Snow’ is enriched by…mesmerizing mixes: Cruelty and farce, poetry and violence, and a voice whose timbres range from a storyteller’s playfulness to the dark torment of an explorer, lost.”

This was shared by reviewers and writers across the country. John Updike claimed “Snow” is “a major work…Pamuk is Turkey’s most likely candidate for the Nobel Prize” as well as across the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Two outstanding ‘snow’ books by Yasunari Kawabata, winner of the 1968 Nobel Prize for Literature, are worth consideration. ‘Snow Country’ was written early in his career and is one of his most notable novels. ‘First Snow on Fuji’ is a book of nine stories and a short dramatic work published in April 1958, toward the end of his career. The stories are somewhat reflecting dealing with language and being, words and the past. Richard Matthews of Newsday calls it “intelligent, artful and moving.”

In 2001 “Snow Mountain Passage: A Novel of the Donner Party,” taking place before our time right in our backyard, written by James D. Houston was published and was named Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post Book World, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Though the story is known, the book is exceptional in its details, characters and insight which has led some to claim it will become a modern Western classic. Definitely worth a read.

Let me close by wishing you all a very Happy Holiday this week and sharing a “snow” poem to enjoy written by one of my favorite people, Incline Village’s very own elegant gentleman of words, now writing in his ninth decade, professor William George Redel. Announced earlier this year, this poem was selected as the Number One poem published in The International Library of Poetry’s “The Best Poems and Poets of 2007.”

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Congratulations Bill and continue to entice us with your ‘pearls’ for years to come!