I love Sadie Smith’s books. When I was back in school my English teacher recommended that I read On Beauty. I loved that one. It’s about a married couple struggling through their relationship after the wife finds out that her husband cheated on her. I’ll post it here if I have time… Then I read White Teeth, a completely different story about the struggles of an immigrant family in London.
Until this very day I read the Autograph Man. As her other books, it’s really great. It’s the story about Alex Li-Tandem, a chinese boy in his mid-twenties who lives from buying and selling autographs. I’d consider it quite a “literary” book, not obviously a quick read, but a good story. It’s about the daily struggle in a world full of superficiality and expectations to do something “great” or become famous.
The story starts a bit tedious, but after the first 50 or so pages it becomes really involving as you watch Alex moving along, struggling with his life and friends until he ends up in New York City where he meets his life-long idol “Kitty Alexander”. He has been writing letters to her for over ten years, first asking her to send him an autograph, but after some years starting to write short stories about how he imagines her. He convinces her to accompany him to England as she wants to see Europe again… No, they don’t develop a love-story, she being in her late 70s, they have more a grandmother-grandson relationship, I’d say.
The story takes up speed at this very point and I won’t ruin the suspense by telling you the end of the story, but if you’re looking for a good read that goes beyond the everyday read, I’d recommend reading this book!