Aug 9 - Fog

Aug 9 - Fog

A Paris Review Staff Pick, one of Chicago Tribune's 25 Hot Books of Summer, and one of The A.V. Club's 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2019A stark, elegiac account of unexpected pleasures and the progress of seasonsFifteen years ago, Kathryn Scanlan found a stranger's five-year diary at an estate auction in a small town in Illinois. The owner of the diary was eighty-six years old when she be/>A/>...

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Title:Aug 9 - Fog
Author:Kathryn Scanlan
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Aug 9 - Fog Reviews

  • Richard

    A small, quiet experiment about a life lived. Day to day, storm to storm, death to death. A special artifact. I look forward to Scanlan's collection of brilliant short fiction!

  • Christopher

    Glad there’s room in the world for something like this. Quiet and small, but beautiful. A perfectly titled experience.

  • Ben Niespodziany

    This book just wrecked me. Throughout the reading, I found myself jotting down ideas and fragments for my own pieces of flash/poetry. The ending! So minimal and timeless and surreal and moving. Makes you want to walk outside and write about the weather. Unlike anything I've read. Can't wait to read it again once I have the physical copy. Wow.

  • Paris (parisperusing)

    Kathryn Scanlan’s

    is a rearrangement of sentences taken from a stranger’s diary she found at an estate auction 15 years ago. Its author is an 86-year-old woman whose annals sweep five years — 1968 to 1972 — and five seasons. From what I deduced of the language, the speaker — let’s call her Joan — is a black woman.

    Kathryn Scanlan’s

    is a rearrangement of sentences taken from a stranger’s diary she found at an estate auction 15 years ago. Its author is an 86-year-old woman whose annals sweep five years — 1968 to 1972 — and five seasons. From what I deduced of the language, the speaker — let’s call her Joan — is a black woman. I sensed this from the use of African-American English — and also because our diction has an arcane, but distinct sound.

    In pages of stanzas, we learn Joan, her friends, and loved ones are either unwell or in some state of danger or grief. Someone named Emma “didn’t get home”; Bayard is caught “living in the past”; Linda “had car accident”; Stella’s had things “taken, mostly antiques”; Ruth, fortunately, “came thru operation”; “Lightning hit & burned Charlie’s garage” — these spare glimpses speak to the perilous limbo of a black lower class. Poor health, trepidation, and pain begat by old age are sufferings Joan tries to evade with art and nature before the chapter of her own life comes to an end.

    Some may not understand

    nor be stoic enough to decipher its mad glamour — and it will be a shame because that is its charm. What Scanlan has done is give voice to a life that would have otherwise left silently. A life of a friend, of a stranger, of someone who is both dying to live and dying for a silver lining. The very haunt of

    concerns the ways death finds us when we are most feeble, and here, death is an onslaught of maladies.

    In a very eerie way, this book’s polarizing nature reminded me so much of

    — which is the most controversial story I’ve ever read and enjoyed. After witnessing what Scanlan has performed given so little material, I’m as anxious as ever to see what she does with her new collection next year.

    (Thank you, FSG, for gifting me this beautiful sphinx of a book; it certainly sunk its fangs in me.)

  • Robin

    A strangely wonderful little treasure.

  • Sonia Schoenfield

    I picked this up out of curiosity off the new book shelf in the library. It's small, has a linen cover, and the title is the same day as today. What are the odds?!

    The author, Kathryn Scanlan, wrote this book using sentences and phrases from a diary she bought at an estate sale. It's one of those five year diaries that has a page for each day divided into five years, with space to write just a few words. The diary belonged to an octogenarian in a small Illinois town covering the years

    I picked this up out of curiosity off the new book shelf in the library. It's small, has a linen cover, and the title is the same day as today. What are the odds?!

    The author, Kathryn Scanlan, wrote this book using sentences and phrases from a diary she bought at an estate sale. It's one of those five year diaries that has a page for each day divided into five years, with space to write just a few words. The diary belonged to an octogenarian in a small Illinois town covering the years 1968-1972.

    The owner of the diary never says a word about events outside her little town. Her world is made of people named Maude, Vern, and "D". The entries are short sentences like "That puzzle a humdinger," "Robin on nest today," "Sorted plastic containers." The book has a stoic tone, but for some reason it intrigued me. I wish I knew the name of the owner of the diary, but then again, I probably walk past her everyday.

    Read it and see what you think.

  • Kathleen Gray

    This isn't a novel, it isn't a novella, it isn't a lot of things. This is short and reads more like poetry than anything else. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. It's an interesting conceit to take someone else's writing and "collage it" to make it "your own" but it comes out more as an art project than literature.

  • Andrew

    I'm not even really sure how to categorize this. It's labeled as fiction, but it's real pieces of an elderly woman's private diary... nonfiction? Honestly, I would have just preferred her transcribed journal. This isn't even really the author's own writing rather than her favorite parts of the mentioned diary.

  • Bandit

    This isn’t really a book, is it? Not in a way that someone would spend money on it, surely. Technically, yes, it’s formatted and published as a book, but realistically speaking it is 128 pages I was easily able to read in just under 15 minutes. This is beyond spare, beyond minimalistic, beyond bare bones even. It might work as a poetry volume, possibly, although it’s sparse even by those standards. Mood wise, again, might work for poetry. Otherwise, possibly, an experiment. But it doesn’t offer

    This isn’t really a book, is it? Not in a way that someone would spend money on it, surely. Technically, yes, it’s formatted and published as a book, but realistically speaking it is 128 pages I was easily able to read in just under 15 minutes. This is beyond spare, beyond minimalistic, beyond bare bones even. It might work as a poetry volume, possibly, although it’s sparse even by those standards. Mood wise, again, might work for poetry. Otherwise, possibly, an experiment. But it doesn’t offer much to go on. This is essentially an old diary of an old woman that covers 1968 to 1972 in the least amount of words and details possible, mostly chronicling old age and the general winding down of life. Not only is there not really enough for a semblance of a coherent narrative, there is barely enough to evoke any sort of engagement. Maybe this is why diaries are meant to be private things intended for their owners only. Definitely didn’t work for me. Maybe it’s something for fans of poetry and flash fiction. But seriously…no book this size should be read in 15 minutes. Maybe I’m too much of a traditionalist. The book has some rave reviews, possibly from diarists or readers of the diaries of others. Concept fiction, like concept cuisine, essentially insubstantial. And in this case mainly sad. But really, it’s a privacy violation at best. Pass. Thanks Netgalley.

  • Jonathan

    2.5- this was such a smart intriguing idea and it was executed somewhat well for me but still left me desiring a little more. I think some will find what the book is telling and that’s amazing because it truly is a great swift little read but I was personally not a great fan of it, it’s so short and compact maybe I’ll revisit it in the future. Don’t be discouraged by my review not all books are for all people!

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