2016 Reading Challenge: Book 50

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Book 50: a book written by an author from your town, Asphodel by H.D.

Hilda Doolittle, known by her pen name H.D., was an American writer from my hometown of Bethlehem, PA. H.D. wrote both poetry as well as prose and is known for her experimental writing style. The novel I chose for my reading challenge, Asphodel, is one such experiment with prose. Written in 1921, Asphodel was marked “destroy” by H.D. and was never published until 1992. H.D.’s writing style is definitely that of a “writer’s writer,” meaning that her style is so beautiful and complex that it would not be appreciated by a regular readership. It’s a style that only other artists and those who make a living studying literature can truly appreciate. Asphodel is another such novel that you should give yourself plenty of time to read, and I regret that with my challenge this year I did not have the time or space to give this novel the attention it deserves.

H.D.’s prose reads like poetry, so expect a novel’s worth of narrative and plot with the flow of a poem. Also expect stream of consciousness which fits beautifully with the lyrical prose. In short, if you are looking for a simple structure and transparent plot, this probably isn’t the book for you. However, if you want to experience a complex and unique literary voice, I encourage you to give H.D. a try.

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About alycemsustko

Reader, writer, catmom extraordinaire
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