The book is called The History of Love and it is by Nicole Krauss. I think it may be the best book I ever read. I have felt this way about other books before, and they still hold a special place of course-- they may be the most complex, or the smartest, or the funniest, but OVERALL, I think The History of Love now takes my top prize. Oftentimes while I was reading it I felt my eyes sort of fill up with water, not that I was crying, but I felt Ms. Krauss created a world so full and recognizable to me-- I actually felt I was living it. ANd that best kind of living-- the feeling like you get not so much while you are ON the Cyclone at Coney Island, but,-- right after. ALIVE. wow.
Also, I felt a little bit psychic while I was reading the book. At the beginning the area where a main character lives is described in loose detail. I pictured 504 Grand Street on the Lower East Side. I pictured that corner and the locks on the doors there. At the end of the book-- it gives his address. 504 Grand!!!
Also, there is a story within the story regarding a blind photographer and his desire to document all that he is close to, in case he ever does get his sight back, so he will know what his life looked like, people he loved, etc. When I was 18 I went to Europe and on my first night abroad, in London, I wrote my dad a letter about a story I was starting to write with just this manner of blind photographer. Funny. Especially because this sort of seamlessness of authorship is one of the touchstones of the story.
anyway, READ this book. It will possibly change your life.
also: a quick theory. The book got me thinking a lot about invisibility and our actions to be sure we are not invisible... and I was thinking 'blogs' are sort of an act of Making Visible. Probably so many people feel they have no one to share their stories with. But maybe putting them out into the ether/waves, they fell better. Less lonely. I am not sure. But I happened upon this blog http://missdonnalee.blogspot.com/ and it seems to argue in favor of that. It always freaked me out a little when boys wanted to show me their journals. Especially if I was not in love with them. It is awkward. But maybe it is different if it is a stranger. Maybe.