From the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, here is a collection of stories that weave themselves around the idea of love---love to seek and love to flee; love as desire, as guilt, as confusion or self-betrayal; love as habit, as affair, and as life-changing rebellion.
As his myriad fans know from The Reader, Bernhard Schlink's power as a storyteller resides in his cool compassion and in the intelligence that he wields like a laser to penetrate human motives and human behavior. Here his subject is not history but the heart itself, and with the forensic delicacy of a master he lays bare the essence of our feelings.
Already an enormous success in the author's native Germany, Flights of Love is certain to be celebrated, discussed, read and re-read.
(Translated by John E. Woods).
Girl With Lizard
It was a painting of a girl with a lizard. They were looking at each other and not looking at each other, the girl gazing dreamily toward the lizard, the lizard directing its vacant, glistening eyes toward the girl. Because the girl's thoughts were somewhere else, she was holding so still that even the lizard sat motionless on the moss-grown rock, on which the girl lay half leaning, half stretched out on her stomach. The lizard lifted its head and probed with its tongue.
"That Jewish girl," the boy's mother said whenever she spoke of the girl in the painting. When his parents argued and his father got up to retreat to his study where the painting was hung, she would call after him, "Go pay your Jewish girl a visit!" Or she would ask, "Does the painting of that Jewish girl have to hang there? Does the boy have to sleep under the painting of that Jewish girl?" The painting hung above a couch where the boy napped at noontime, while his father read ...
If you liked Flights of Love, try these:
Transcendent stories: about the uncertain gestures of love, about the betrayals and gifts of the body, about the surprises and bounties of the heart, and about what comes to us unbidden and what we choose.
Powerfully and affectingly examines the complex, intricate network of experiences that binds us to one another. These stories are tender, raw, lovely, and fine - and they reaffirm Roxana Robinson's place at the forefront of modern literature.
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