Kathryn Davis’ Duplex… thoughts while reading….

NPR’s book reviewer Roscrans Baldwin (huh?  is that a great name or what for a book critic?) talked about this book early September, so when it arrived in libraries I requested it.  I’m more than halfway through and it lives up to expectations: the sentences and paragraph structure are so remarkably different from straightforward narrative, that you wish you were a college student and not a college professor (because then you could write a paper about the book instead of grading 100 econ midterms… they’re fun too but the sentence structures, well, enough said).  Duplex is a formidable short novel.  From the acknowledgments it appears to have been formed as a set of vignettes.  They are interrelated.  Time, characters, everything is in flux.  On first read it is very difficult to follow.  (Especially when reading one chapter each night.)  But I get the feeling that if I spend more time with it, there is lots underneath.  For me it is rare that I read books that while reading I say to myself, I am going to read this again more slowly.  Of course, I haven’t finished the first read, so who knows, maybe there will be a large alien-meteorite  on an ice-packed island that explains everything at the end (Smilla’s Sense of Snow, anyone?)

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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