So many books
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee promises to be a very good read (although I’ve not read the entire book yet.). The novel begins in 1952 and then backtracks to the war years in 1942.
Trudy tells their new friends that she loves Americans, their open-handed extravagance, their loud talk and braying confidence. When someone brings up the war, she pretends not to hear, ignoring them and instead going on about the qualities she feels all Americans have. They have a sense of the world being incomparably large, she says, and a sense that they are able to, not colonize, but spread through all countries, spending their money like water, without guilt or too much consciousness. She loves that. The men are tall and rangy, with long faces and quick decisions, and the women let them be, isn’t that wonderful, because they’re so busy with their own committees and plans. They invite all and sundry to their events, and they serve marvelous items like potato salads and ham and cheese sandwiches. And, unless there is a very special type of Englishman present (she tips her head toward Will), they tend to diminish the other men in the room. It’s very odd, but she’s seen it. Haven’t you noticed that? If she had it to do all over, she says to the dinner table, she would come back as an American. Barring that possibility, she’s going to marry one. Or maybe just move there, if someone objects to her marrying an American, said with eyes cast demurely down as a joke.
Posted on June 1, 2009, in Books and tagged 1942, 1952, books, Christmas Day, fiction, Hong Kong, Janice Y. K. Lee, Japanese, reading, so many books, The Piano Teacher, World War II. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.