The Millions

A Year in Reading: Ayşegül Savaş

In the bleakest days of the year, I read Ágota Kristóf’s The Notebook, about twin brothers living in a Hungarian village with their grandmother during the war. They orient themselves in the world with a bizarre and unflinching ethics which, for its very fairness, seems immoral. I read it one afternoon standing against the radiator for warmth, and I was so ashamed by it—its cruel humanity, its truth—that I could not bear to underline any of its passages.

The weather grew milder. It rained for weeks. In days of sunshine people looked confused, wearing summer clothes,’s , a feverish book of breathtaking beauty, about a single mother and her young daughter living in a light filled apartment for a year.

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