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'Sight' Is A Penetrating Vision Of Motherhood, Science And More

Jessie Greengrass' novel is packed with shimmering sentences and poetic paragraphs from a narrator who's never content to drift along, but must probe "the convoluted crenellations of the mind."
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Jessie Greengrass' Sight is one of those books that critics rave about, yet many readers wonder why. Here's why: Shimmering sentences and long paragraphs that unspool like yellow brick roads, winding toward emerald cities of elusive, hard-to-express insights. A definition of love as an "encumbrance of minutiae" which both anchors and defines you. Observations like this: "The price of sight is wonder's diminishment."

Yet as much as I admire Greengrass' mental and verbal felicity, I also understand that heris a novel, because it reads so much like a memoir. However wondrously articulate, it is heavy with obsessive worries and sad memories and research-based disquisitions on three scientists whose work revealed previously hidden aspects of human beings: Wilhelm Röntgen, the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of X-rays; John Hunter, an 18th century surgeon and anatomist; and Sigmund Freud, whose analysis of his daughter, Anna, helped plumb the unconscious.

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