Monday, May 24, 2004

I have already recommended The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Writer's Brain by the neurologist Alice Flaherty, but now that I have finished it from cover to cover, I urge anyone who is a writer and who has suffered from problems with mood in relation to their writing to get this book. I happen to enjoy the science of the mind, and this fact made the case histories and analyses especially interesting. Very weird at times, but fascinating!

At the gym I'm enjoying The Wife by Meg Wolitzer, a book that was published in March a year ago. For the past year the title has been putting me off, and it was only in desperation for a book to read while ellipticalling that I picked it up last week. I'm more than half-way through now, and I can say with certainty that Wolitzer is a clever writer. Sharp, witty, clean prose; the only problem is that the storyline is so old. Joan, a bitter wife of a famous novelist, contemplates divorce during a trip with her husband to Finland where he is to receive the most coveted of literary prizes. The story of their romance and marriage is amusing, but Joan as a character is faceless. Married in the early 1960s, she resents her husband for the fact that she decided (and it was a conscious decision) to take a backseat to his career. So what makes this novel different from the thousands of others with this plotline? I have not found out yet, but am amused just enough so that I will keep reading to find out. I'll let you know.


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