by Anne Michaels
Wow, what a deep, meditative read on loss and memory and art. It's basically about a 7 year old boy who witnesses his parents killed by Nazis, who survives the Holocaust by burying himself in the ground during the day and sneaking around in terror at night looking for food and dealing with his truama and loss. That is, until a Greek archeologist finds him and takes him to Greece (once he realizes the mud-caked whailing boy is actually human!). The book follows the boy over the span of his life as he lives out a transformation from a half-crazy homeless boy to an artist who extracts powerful meaning from his experience.
Anne Michaels is first and foremost a poet in the way that Faulkner is (but not quite as extraordinary, if you know what I mean). A tough read, but very rewarding.
As I write this, I realize that this book has had a strong emotional impact on me as a writer.
"Write to save yourself and someday you'll write because you've been saved."