The Lover’s Dictionary
|The Lover’s Dictionary
By David Levithan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: 2011
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Public Library
Literary Award: ALA Alex Award (2012)
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
I enjoy very much Literary Fiction, especially if I can discern in it a great research behind each word chosen, and also if there’s some originality in the structure of the book. Novels coming from the Oulipo movement, with Italo Calvino as one of his most famous followers, are definitely my favorite.
So it was a nice surprise to find a young writer trying his hand, or his pen, well, his keyboard, I should say, at a definitely original structure.
The Lover’s Dictionary is a love story, and it is a kind of dictionary. Instead of a regular narrative of what happened between the narrator and the girl he was in love with, he addresses her as he remembers, and chooses to follow the order of the alphabet and select a few important words to allude to their relationship. For each word, what he proposes as the definition is actually snippets reflecting on him or her, on how they met, fell in love, and struggled at times.
I liked very much the style, dense and succinct, more evocative than explanatory, that left space for the mystery of each person in this love relationship.
The result is something touching, beautiful, but not all “cheap romance”.
And did you notice the beautiful simplicity of the book cover?
“I want my books to have their own shelves,” yuu said, and that’s how I knew it would be okay to live together.
These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
A modern love story told through a series of dictionary-style entries is a sequence of intimate windows into the large and small events that shape the course of a romantic relationship. [Goodreads]
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Levithan (born 1972)
is an American children’s book editor
and award-winning author.
He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003.
Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH,
a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.
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