A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – Review

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

Published in 2013

Pages: 379

Genre: Novel, war, literature about Chechnya

“On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones.”

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra, describes the tragic lives of displaced peoples in the aftermath of the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. Featuring a cast of characters connected by seemingly inconsequential coincidences, the novel explores the notions of family, loyalty, and shared humanity. Through the troubled, war-torn history of a nation, lives are woven together by the decisions of a few while the fleeting and beautiful aspects of life find common ground. Continue reading “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – Review”

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Review

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

First published in 1891; 2008 Penguin Classics edition

Pages: 213

Genre: Philosophical novel, English literature

“The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.”

High class intrigue and the virtues of vice are among many subjects covered in Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. A tragic tale of beauty, its merits, and corruption, the novel follows the life of eponymous character Dorian Gray. One day, the young man makes a Faustian request that entwines his fate with that of his portrait, and brings him into situations and deeds that make the loftier classes blush. Continue reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray – Review”