Posted on August 22, 2008 by rodney
Tags: tour

After a desperate rainy day reading sprint to finish Anna Karenin and – eyes still moist – put it in the mail before the post office closed, I was left with lighter bags, but wanting for reading material.

So yesterday while browsing the local Fnac, seeking a small respite from the 6-senses oppression that is Nice, and with the faint – alas vain – hope that I might find in there a Nokia N810, I wandered into the libraire’s Romans Anglais corner.

As expected, choice was limited if one isn’t interested in Harry Potter. The literature books either seemed too academic, too thin, or too heavy, or I had read them already, or I didn’t like the picture on the front.

Eventually I instantiated a shortlist, length 2. One – a woman’s nostalgic story of colonial life in Kenya; the other a troubled ex-colonial woman’s short stories about life in New Zealand, abroad in Europe, and on the French Riviera.

Perhaps I should explain why I made this a colonial female writers list, and not a 17-books-by-John Grisham list. Firstly, at Fnac they have a noticeable preference in this direction, though I ruled out everything by Jane Austen. Secondly, I’m staying next to Rue de George Sand, and clearly this means something.

Thirdly, I have recently been told that in Poland, the news from Australia – apart from the usual crocodile wrestling stories – is that the mayor of Mount Isa has called on the ugly women of the world to move there, and help address the 5:1 male to female ratio. So I thought they should send Germaine Greer there, and it put me on a slight sympathy for feminism bent.

After a short contemplation, and comparison of price stickers, I chose “The Garden Party and Other Stories” by Katherine Mansfield. Will let you know how it goes.

Apologies for the shortage of full stops in this entry. I have a tendency to waste them on ellipses. Further and sincere apologies for the underlying chauvinist tone and hidden assumptions about classic authors’ genders that have been left unchallenged in this blog entry.