Palimpsest–a book review

Here’s an amazing book trailer for a phenomenal book by Catherynne M. Valente. I started Palimpsest July 1. The first day of my summer. I finished it July 14. Not because it took me so long to read. No. This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It touched my soul, made me question my life, shed tears, and think about happiness in a whole different light. So I chose to savour it. To read just enough each day. Until I got to the last hundred pages. Then I had to know how it ended. I tore through them and felt justly rewarded for my efforts.

Rarely do I walk away from a book feeling like I learned something important or grew as a human being. This book did that for me. The last book that had a similar effect? Ten years ago–Alessandro Baricco’s Ocean Sea.

Palimpsest delves into sexuality, desire, obsession and what the heart wants most. It made me re-examine why getting what we most want is so very difficult and inevitably requires sacrifice of something that felt so important.

The prose are strikingly gorgeous throughout. Valente weaves this fable together perfectly so that the reader goes on their own journey of self discovery. One of my favorite passages in the book talks about living alone as being “a skill, like running long distance or programming old computers. You have to know parameters and protocols…You have to allow yourself to open up until you are the exact size of the place you live, no more, or lese you get restless. No less, or else you drown.”

Check out Catherynne M. Valente’s website for more information on her writing. She’s also reading at the KGB Bar July 21. I’m definitely going!

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