Arts & Leisure

Book review: Weather – by Jenny Offill

(Knopf Publishing Group)
“Weather,” at its base, is a book about a university librarian, a mother, a wife and the sister of a brother struggling with addiction, but it soars far above that. How is it possible for Jenny Ofill, author of the critically acclaimed “Dept. of Speculation,” to lift this seemingly mundane, domestic story to such heights? She does it with exquisite prose, precise and deliberate structuring and truly original style. The book itself has six parts; each part has multiple passages and each passage contains multiple fragments. Each fragment addresses a different concern — each fragment is a small masterpiece, verging on poetry, if not actually poetry. A lovely and most welcome byproduct of this elegant structure is that it actually served to slow this reader down, to take a breath between fragments and passages, consider one gem of a vignette before moving on to the next. This is a book you can submerge yourself in, and once submerged, if you come up for air, or come out of Offill’s world, it can be hard to find your bearings. The finished book is a small, precious package, there is definitely room for it on your bookshelf.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
 

The Best New Literary Fiction
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Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell
The Mirror & the Light, by Hilary Mantel
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, by Deepa Anappara
Writers & Lovers, by Lily King
Creatures, by Crissy Van Meter
Apeirogon, by Colum McCann
The Bear, by Andrew Krivak

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