I wanted to read so many books over the Christmas season – but then one kept me busy for quite a long time, so I ended up reading two. Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World needed time and reflection. It’s a brave book, because it imagines the unimaginable – a woman that is not successful simply because she is that – a woman.
So she takes on the (art) world with her metamorphoses. The book has many layers of family life, New York and its art scene, love and spiritualism, attachment and loss and one woman’s rage – culminating in a sad and wonderful ending that leaves a glimpse of hope in a world of misogyny that comes in many disguises.
Brave women seemed to have been a theme for me – next on the list was Kate Adie. Her approach to journalism fascinated me from page 1. She kind of „fell“ into the job and became a truly professional reporter, always challenging the way she told a story. Emotions needed to be kept at bay in the news, yet were omnipresent. Kate Adie’s take on this is very moving, especially when she writes about Tiananmen square or a funeral in Armenia. The autobiography’s title The Kindness of Strangers is something she encountered in the form of a rose or meals shared or toilet facilities pointed out to her in difficult circumstances. A successful woman in frequently very male environments who has found her very unique way of telling the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her story and getting her take on recent historical events.