Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Daddy Lenin and Other Stories (Nov 25)
I compiled my annual Christmas Book Wishlist last weekend so that my family could make a start on their Christmas shopping with a few ideas of where to start. As I was putting the list together I was going through my books looking for the ones I received last year for Christmas and came across one I still haven’t read yet – Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe. I decided that with Christmas only a month away now I should try and get this one read before I see which ones I get this year. I also decided I should use it as my way back into participating in these Friday memes that I haven’t done for quite a few months now.
The following description comes from inside the front cover:
Bestselling author Guy Vanderhaeghe’s new book of fiction is both timely and timeless and showcases his supreme talent as a storyteller and poignant observer of the human condition.
Among these nine addictive and resonant stories: A teenage boy breaks out of the strict confines of his family, his bid for independence leads him in over his head. He learns about life in short order and there is no turning back. An actor’s penchant for hiding behind a role, on and off stage, is tested to the limits and what he comes to discover finally places him face to face with the truth. With his mother hospitalized for a nervous condition and his father away on long work stints, a boy is sent to another family for his meals. His gradually building relationship with a teenage daughter who has been left handicapped from Polio opens unexpected doors to the world. In the powerful title story, a middle-aged man remeets his former adviser at university, a charismatic and domineering professor dubbed Daddy Lenin. As their tense reunion progresses, secrets from the past painfully revise remembered events and threaten to topple the scaffolding of a marriage.
With Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe returns once again to the form that launched his stellar literary career. Here is a grand master writing at the height of his powers.
Now for this week’s excerpts:
Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post. If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’
The beginning of Daddy Lenin (from the story The Jimi Hendrix Experience):
It’s the summer of 1970 and I’ve only got one lovely ambition. I want to have been born in Seattle, to be black, to be Jimi Hendrix. I want a blast of Afro ablaze in a bank of stage lights, to own a corona of genius.
I like this beginning, but it’s quite the ambition!
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
It’s that simple.
From page 56 of Daddy Lenin (from the story Koenig & Company):
As soon as the food hit their dishes all the Koenigs, Mr. Koenig included, scattered for the living room at top speed. I was the last to be served, and once I had been doled out my share of charcoal and grease, the enormous Delphine immediately fell to it, forking up her supper straight from the pans.
I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it doesn’t seem like all that pleasant an experience.
I’m looking forward to reading this book soon. I’ve read most of Vanderhaeghe’so the collections of short stories and really enjoyed them. I’m hoping this one will be just as good as the others.