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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Discovering A New Treasure

Learning that Paulette Jiles, author of the 2016 novel "News of The World", is also a poet was not at all surprising. Her prose is economical, precise, and emotionally arresting. "News Of The World" is only a little over two hundred pages, but the two main characters in this rich and textured quest - seventy-one-year old Jefferson Kyle Kidd and ten-year-old Johanna - are masterfully sketched.  

Authors capable of creating magic like this astound and demoralize me; how much of each largely depends on my mood as I'm reading. "In her company he found himself also ceasing to value these things that seemed so important to the white world." Until reaching that sentence near the end of the book, I didn't fully appreciate how skillfully Jiles had involved me with these two characters; I did not want to part with them. Before resuming my reading, I recorded both a question ("How exactly did this author pull me in so deeply?") and a comment ("I'm so grateful I recognize this kind of skill") in my notes.

There is no doubt another book by Paulette Jiles is in my future. Which author, brand new to you, have you most recently decided is in your future?

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