Prufrock's Page

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ali's Blues

Monica Ali's second novel, Alentejo Blue, dealing with disparate characters in the Portuguese village of Marmarossa, seems to be a complete departure from the themes and characters of Brick Lane. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- but it leaves Natasha Walter quite unimpressed: "While her first novel grew cumulatively, with characters who were gradually revealed through different situations, this novel is structurally piecemeal, a collection of vignettes with no forward narrative thrust at all...All the characters bow off too hurriedly, little sketches that never get fleshed out, people glimpsed from a train that is moving too quickly through a strange landscape. Even if you enjoy the ride, you can't help wishing that Monica Ali had chosen to write about somewhere she knew better, or wanted to know better."

1 Comments:

  • Did anyone read the piece by Monica Ali in the New Yorker "The Sundowners"? That was probably the starting(or perhaps summary?)of her interest in this new landscape. It was quite disturbing- here's the link:
    http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/content/articles/060123fi_fiction

    By Anonymous Sumita, at 1:59 AM  

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