Kristin Lavransdatter

Kristin Lavransdatter is actually three novels — The Wreath (1920), The Wife (1921), and The Cross (1922) — compiled into one massive book. I bought the Penguin Classics deluxe edition a few years ago, back when I read Gunnar’s Daughter and had traveled to Norway and was still on a Viking high. To my low-key chagrin,Continue reading “Kristin Lavransdatter”

Mon amie américaine

Although they live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Molly and Michèle have the type of close friendship that picks up right where they left off the last time they saw each other. As film critics turned film producers, the two see each other a few times a year at industry events and talk onContinue reading “Mon amie américaine”

In Other Words

In 1994, Jhumpa Lahiri was a college student in Boston studying Renaissance architecture. She and her sister decided to treat themselves to a trip to Florence, Italy during Christmas break. She writes of the experience: What I hear, in the shops, in the restaurants, arouses an instantaneous, intense, paradoxical reaction. It’s as if Italian wereContinue reading “In Other Words”

The Initiates

Ètienne Davodeau’s The Initiates is a graphic memoir about the time when he and established vintner Richard Leroy worked closely together to learn about each other’s professions. Davodeau knows nothing about wine or winemaking; Leroy doesn’t read comic books. The two work in strikingly different worlds, but as they get hands-on experience in the other’s field,Continue reading “The Initiates”

The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors without Borders

In 1986, photographer Didier Lefèvre was hired to join Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) on a mission into Afghanistan, which was in the middle of a war with the Soviet Union. MSF had roots in the country but had been forced to leave because of escalating violence that had resulted in the deaths of some of theirContinue reading “The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors without Borders”