Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Memory of C.

Today I write in memory of my very dear friend and fellow booklover C., who died on this day three years ago. C. and I met in graduate school, and although after that we always lived in different cities, and even different countries during two different stretches of time, we always visited back and forth, called, wrote, and emailed. And we always, always talked about books. We exchanged book recommendations, opinions about recent books, and -- occasionally -- worries about the direction of contemporary fiction. Whenever we were in the same city for a visit, we went to bookstores. Our friendship had many strands, but this one -- our mutual love of books -- was one of the strongest ones. C. read more than anyone else I know or knew. She had impeccable taste, and read widely and deeply. For example, she had lived in and had a deep love for Japan, and read extensively about Japan and Japanese literature, especially haiku. We did not always agree about specific authors or books, although far more often we did. When one of us discovered a “new,” to us, author, we eagerly told the other about that writer, sometimes sending a copy of a favorite book to the other. Some of our mutual favorite writers were Carol Shields, Penelope Lively, Diana Athill, and William Trevor, among many, many others. C. was also -- and this meant a lot to me -- a staunch supporter of this book blog, and at my request, even contributed two guest blogposts (10/17/10 and 10/18/10). Here I write about her booklover side, but I want to add that she was a wonderful person in so many ways: successful in her professional career; immersed in art and music and theater; extremely well traveled; generous and kind; and most of all, caring and fiercely loyal to her family and friends. I wrote here about her on 2/16/10 and on 4/29/11. We had known each other for almost 40 years when she died. I miss her very much.

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