Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

March Books 16) Wandering Star, by J.M.G. Le Clézio

When Le Clézio won the Nobel Prize for Literature a couple of years ago, I had never heard of him. This is much his most easily obtainable book, and it was also strongly endorsed by saare_snowqueen, so I had been looking forward to reaching it.

I was very impressed. Le Clézio tells the story of Esther, a Jewish girl displaced from France over the Alps to Italy and eventually to Israel in the mid-1940s; her story briefly touches on that of Nejda, a Palestinian girl who becomes a refugee as a result of the 1948 conflict. The book is beautifully expressive of both the geographical landscapes of the Alps and Palestine, and of the psychological landscape of displacement, homelessness, and building new ties. I did wish we had learned more about what happens to Nejda in the end, and was a bit disappointed that the last few chapters were about Esther's life decades later. But the pluses outweigh the minuses. I am still hoping for an English translation of Le Clézio's Désert, which is about the Western Sahara.
Tags: bookblog 2010, nobel laureates
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