A Year in Reading: Colum McCann

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There are so many books. Always so many. They collide in my mind. Odd little decorations from the course of the year. But one of the most extraordinary experiences was reading an essay by Rabih Alameddine on Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet. Rabih’s essay was so gorgeous that I immediately felt envious. What was this book? Where had it been hiding all my life? I bought an old copy over the Internet. It arrived, wrapped in brown paper. A Penguin Classics edition. The book stunned me with its beauty. Rabih was correct, of course: it was one of the great books of our times. I had not read anything quite like it before. It was like opening Joyce’s back door and finding another genius there in the garden. The Book of Disquiet. To try to describe it would be to diminish it. But it will meet you some day and bring you down its alleyways of Lisbon ….

More from A Year in Reading 2011

Don’t miss: A Year in Reading 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

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