Saturday, July 22, 2006


Phew! Summer is a really busy time for librarians. I have found it difficult to find the time to blog. I am squeezing some reading and movie watching in, though. And the point of this blog was to hear from library people out there in Libraryland, so please send your To Read/To Watch/To Hear lists to: - Thanks!

I heard an interview with writer Katharine Weber on NPR, about her new novel Triangle, and immediately reserved a copy from our library. Although the book is a novel, Weber's real life grandmother worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory two years before the terrible fire on March 25, 1911. This book is about the fictional last survivior of the fire and a pushy scholar who questions the survivor's version of events.

The book sounds unique and intriguing for several reasons. The author started writing it just before September 11th. Both catastrophes involved people facing the decision to jump or burn, and the author noted in the interview that although 90 years elapsed between the two tragedies, very little really happened in terms of building safety. I think this could be one of those books that helps us to absorb and comprehend the events of 9/11, via an event that has nothing directly to do with what happened that day.

Also the book is about how we create history, and what gets remembered. Esther Gottesfeld, the survivor, tells her story several times throughout the book, in different settings and at different stages of her life, and the story changes with the different tellings. That stuff just fascinates me, and I think it is an important point about history that we need to re-learn all the time - memory is unreliable, and we bring our own history to the table when we retell a story.

The book is also a mystery, because apparently, Esther is hiding something - I can't imagine what, but I really want to find out!


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