Collective Dreams and Stories We Tell Ourselves

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Hi! My name is Bianca, and I’m the new girl ’round these parts, so, as you might expect, this is my first post. I thought I’d riff off the last post; I’m an avid reader and take seriously the material I choose to read, most of the time.

Number9Dream by David Mitchell is a novel I read fairly recently. The reason I’m writing about it and not a book I read more recently is because this novel has stuck with me, like a particularly catchy song lyric, since the day I began it.

The book follows Eiji Miyake, a young man from rural Japan who moves to Tokyo to search for the father who abandoned him. Upon hearing such a description, a reader might think the novel a typical bildungsroman type book–boy searches for father as an analogue for the actual search for his own self. But it’s about much more: the collective dreams we have–while awake and asleep–the stories we tell each other and ourselves, the sadnesses that attend being human, and the beauty. David Mitchell is an imaginative writer who sketches Eiji’s journey through a shifting, sometimes real, sometimes unreal, and dark Tokyo with such brilliance and talent you won’t be able to put the book down once you begin it.

 

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One book now on my to-read list for the new year is Joan Didion’s After Henry, which a lovely person picked up for me from a bar on St. Charles. This collection of essays was published in the 90s and showcases Didion’s reporting on American culture as she travels from Los Angeles to D.C. with a focus on uncovering the narratives that the media construct around people and events.

 

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