Malina : A Novel, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


A work of sharp, unforgettable images and an irresistible narrative.

Here is the story of lives painfully intertwined: the unnamed narrator, haunted by nightmarish memories of her father, lives with the androgynous Malina, an initially remote and dispassionate man who ultimately becomes an iminous influence.

Plunging toward its riveting finale, MALINA brutally lays bare the struggle for love and the limits of discourese between women and men.



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"The name alone suffices to be in the world."
Malina is one of those novels that feels completely natural to me, arising almost like an organism, without pretense or premeditated designs. Its easy playful voice keeps me reading despite the somber themes that run underneath. It is a particularly difficult novel for me to describe, as it tackles many serious topics (war, post-war, time, history, personal relationships, men and women) yet when you pull back, its main thrust is elusive. What is this book about? Who even is Malina? I have no answers and in a way the answers don't really matter. Yes, I read the afterword with some pretty convincing angles. And some of it has validity.

What matters to me is that it is enjoyable at every juncture. And it feels so right just in my bones, like I buy everything it says. Just the whole damn thing seems so necessary and true, like a lived thing. It seems less a novel and more a byproduct of someone's having been alive.
Once one has survived something then survival itself interferes with understanding. p146

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