Usually, the announcement of the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature is another opportunity for me to think, ‘I’m something of a pretender really when it comes to the world of literature’. But because of that whole Central and South American thing the mister and I had in the nineties, I know a lot about this year’s winner.
Now, if you’re like me, and the announcement of the Nobel Prize winner makes you think, ‘Maybe I should read at least something by such and such’ and then you go to the bookstore and just pull something off the shelf, trusting that they’ve got what you need to read in stock, let me give you a piece of advice. Do not let the one thing you read be The Feast of the Goat. It contains what must be the singularly most disturbing piece of writing I have ever, ever read. It must be at least five years since I read it and more than any case study I have ever read for Amnesty, passages of The Feast of the Goat have haunted me, frightened me and made me despair for the state of the world. I’ve only read it once, but I still remember it vividly to the point that I can still pretty much see the pages in my mind and remember the chair I was sitting in when I read it. Maybe that means you should read it. I guess it made me even more grateful that my knowledge of human rights abuses has come from reading and hearing and not from lived experience.
On a lighter note, I would highly recommend Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter which is one of my Go To Books. It is great fun, and I never get bored of it. I think it was the first novel I read in Spanish. Which sort of depresses me, because there’s no way I could read it in Spanish now.