Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A-Z Wednesday: From A to X by John Berger

My On-the-ground-lion,
Did you receive my last parcel?
In it I put Marlboros, Zabrano, Green mint, Coffee

From A to X
Author: John Berger
ISBN: 9781844672882
Publisher: Verso/2008
Pages: 196

As told in the forward, John Berger came into possession of some letters. He does not wish to divulge the source. These letters have been sent from A'ida to Xavier. A'da lives in a forgotten town of Suse and her lover/husband is taken for an insurgent and is imprisoned. In those letters, we see A'ida writing about everyday things and in the routine way her life goes on. She describes people and events that are happening and also the love she feels for Xavier.

The most insignificant detail is written about. Underlying all this, is the survival of the people of Suse, who put up resistence when the need arises. There is no particular order about those letters, these are undated and somehow can be read in any order, without lessening the impact. We also find Xavier's thoughts in the form of notes at the back of her letters but never sent to A'ida.

There is no background given, no details of insurgency, or war but that in no way detracts. The stark structure only highlights the negative effect of war. A'ida letters read like poetry at a few places. Her thoughts are calm, collected and matter of fact. Her love for Xavier is not cloying at all. In no way, these letters are not love letters and yet they are. In the missives of daily doings, the passion pours forth.

At a first glance, the book might not appeal to most. Once one starts it, it completely takes one in. Do give it a chance, if you like serious reading. For A'ida, writing letters is painful, yet she has gneo on, not for Xaviar but for herself, her own sake. Reason enough to live, to survive, is it not?

This review is a repost


Book Dragon said...

Good morning!

here's mine

Unknown said...

Yeah, this is something I would have passed by. Thanks for the info.
Mine is Here

Zia said...

Sounds interesting!

kayerj said...

thanks for the encouragement. I prefer light reading most of the time. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

Anonymous said...

Sounds very interesting!!! Not one I'd normally read, but love your review.

Thanks for playing this week!

Kristen said...

What an interesting one. I have other Berger works here but hadn't heard of this one.

Mine is here.

Irene said...

My list TBR is growing as I write. Thanks for stopping by, and what a great review.

Veens said...

That's something i won't normally red... but i will surely give it a chance if i get a chance :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting, not something I would have found on my own.

Bryan R. Terry said...

Sounds fascinating.

From the better late than never department, my A-Z Pick is HERE

Debbie's World of Books said...

Nothing like a warm cup of tea on a cold night and curling up with a book.

beth said...

I like letter novels, and this one sounds more serious than most. Thanks for the rec.