Fugitive Pieces

by Anne Michaels | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0771058853 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Pooker3 of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 3/11/2009
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Rescued from the Millennium Library's used book table. Well somebody had to take it home didn't they?

Journal Entry 2 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, February 20, 2010
I read this book in July, 2009 but was unable to review it right away because I felt too close to it and didn't think I could do it justice. So now six or seven months later I figure I'd better write something before my memory of it fades entirely. The thing of it is, I don't think one could entirely forget this book. Just picking it up brought back a flood of feelings. Michael writes so beautifully that even the awful is stunning.

I was rifling through the pages to find a particular quote that I remember had particularly upset me and couldn't find it at first. It was this quote I had been looking for:

"While I hid in the radiant light of Athos's island, thousands suffocated in darkness. While I hid in the luxury of a room, thousands were stuffed into baking stoves, sewers, garbage bins. In the crawlspaces of double ceilings, in stables, pigsties, chicken coops. A boy my age hid in a crate; after ten months he was blind and mute, his limbs atrophied. A woman stood in a closet for a year and a half, never sitting down, blood bursting her veins. While I was living with Athos on Zakynthos, learning Greek and English, learning geology, geography, and poetry, Jews were filling the corners and cracks of Europe, every available space. They buried themselves in strange graves, any space that would fit their bodies, absorbing more room than was allotted them in the world. I didn't know that while I was on Zakynthos, a Jew could be purchased for a quart of brandy, perhaps four pounds of sugar, cigarettes. I didn't know that in Athens, they were rounded up in "Freedom Square." That the sisters of the Vilna convent were dressing men as nuns in order to provide ammunition to the underground. In Warsaw, a nurse hid children under her skirt, passing through the ghetto gates, until one evening- a gentle twilight descending on those typhus-infected, lice-infested streets- the nurse was caught, the child thrown into the air and shot like a tin can, the nurse given the "Nazi pill": one bullet in the throat. While Athos taught me about anabatic and katabatic winds, Arctic smoke, and the Spectre of the Brocken, I didn't know that Jews were being hanged from their thumbs in public squares. I didn't know that when there were too many for the ovens, corpses were buried in open pits, flames ladled with human fat. I didn't know that while I listened to stories of explorers in the clean places of the world (snow-covered, salt-stung) and slept in a clean place, men were untangling limbs, the flesh of friends and neighbours, wives and daughters, coming off in their hands."

It was this piece that I came upon while looking:

"The shadow past is shaped by everything that never happened. Invisible, it melts the present like rain through karst. A biography of longing. It steers us like magnetism, a spirit torque. This is how one becomes undone by a smell, a word, a place, the photo of a mountain of shoes. By love that closes its mouth before calling a name."

And I was undone.

Journal Entry 3 by Pooker3 at Winnipeg Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, March 13, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (3/13/2010 UTC) at Winnipeg Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada



at the ATM on the second floor.

This is one of the 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die! Although not wishing to speed the finder's demise, I do hope that whoever does find it enjoys it as much as I did.

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