Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I am reading Christine Falls, by Benjamin Black, a pseudonym of John Banville, the Irish novelist and journalist. I read The Sea, by Banville, a year or so ago, and enjoyed Banville’s prose and found the story, a very personal introspective, intriguing. I don’t remember how I happened upon Christine Falls; I had written the title down on the back of an envelope, and I was surprised to find that Banville wrote under a pseudonym.
Whereas The Sea is literary fiction, and Christine Falls is crime fiction, the latter is equally literary and I found myself rereading excerpts of the book for the shear enjoyment of Black’s/Banville’s prose. Here is Black describing the entry of a nun, Sister Anselm, into the room where a couple is waiting, hoping to adopt a child from the convent’s orphanage. A short, square-shaped nun was approaching. There was something wrong with her right side, and she walked with a wrenching movement, dragging her hip after her like a mother dragging a stubborn child.