Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Work of fiction


The Japanese term tsundoku means letting unread books pile up on floors and shelves and nightstands. Though not a familiar word in the U.S., a tsundoku is a familiar sight in many a reader’s home. At the top of my reading pile is local author Ashley Mayne’s new novel Tiger (Dr. Cicero Books, 2015).

Mayne appeared at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock last week for a reading of Tiger and also her shorter work Mankiller (Dr. Cicero Books, 2014). In conversation with Carey Harrison, the English novelist and dramatist, the two read excerpts from her books and delved into the inspiration that brought the ideas to the page. Tiger’s characters include a fallen Jesuit priest, a tiger in an Indian village with a taste for humans, and a photographer with a restless past. Mayne said inspiration came from a conversation about tigers living in New York City. Stories abound of city-dwellers sharing their small urban apartments with tigers, perhaps in hopes that the wild animals would be like family dogs, staying small and cuddly forever. 

The Golden Notebook hosts regular literary events, many with local authors. A calendar can be found on their website. The store is one of those dreamy small independent book sellers that seem to be few and far between these days. A good place to grow your tsundoku.     

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