“This would explain much of human suffering, according to my ex, who was being less playful than you might think. He really did believe that’s how it was: each of us languaging on, our meaning clear to ourselves but to nobody else. Even people in love? I asked, smilingly, teasingly, hopefully. This was at the very beginning of our relationship. He only smiled back. But years later, at the bitter end, came the bitter answer: People in love most of all.”
– Sigrid Nunez
Sigrid Nunez’s writing is no less than phenomenal and I am really glad I picked this one up. I am not entirely sure what I feel about this book because it had too many subjects, which can be an advantage or a drawback depending upon people’s tastes. I personally felt that it was too scattered. I wish there was more structure to it. Apart from that, the book is so thought provoking. Is it unethical for the dying to take their own lives? If your loved one confides in you saying that they want to end their lives because it is too exhausting and painful to live through their last few days, what would you say? To be able to truly know someone, you must ask – “What are you going through?” But each one of us speak our own tongues which cannot be expressed in writing as language often falsifies everything. So, how do you tell the truth other than just by keeping it to yourself and mulling it over as experience turns to memory? Sigrid Nunez talks about mortality, euthanasia, love and friendship in this beautiful book of hers. Her writing oddly reminded me of Simone De Beauvoir. I am not sure if she takes her inspiration from there but it definitely felt so. It is a story about two women, one of them who is dying of terminal cancer and the other one who is chosen by her friend to support her through her final days. As the two women experience this painful journey together, they realise theirs is also a love story after all. Every story is a love story, Nunez reflects. I highly recommend, if you want a philosophical read to get you thinking.
Thank you @hachetteaus for the review copy!