Saturday, June 5, 2010


Did I ever tell you how much I loved The Book of Dahlia?

I was reminded of it last night while talking to a friend of mine about how much I wish I were Jewish (and how I'm secretly - or not so secretly - convinced that I actually am, somehow*). I connect so strongly to Jewish culture. Last spring I put my bibliographic search skills to work poring over the public library catalogue to find novels with Jewish protagonists. I found The Book of Dahlia (among others, rest assured. I'm a fantastic librarian.).

Dahlia is a chronic underachiever. The 29-year-old spends her time smoking a lot of pot and occasionally, vaguely considering grad school while watching old movies on TV. Then she has a grand mal seizure and is diagnosed with brain cancer. Yup. The novel is hilarious and smart and dark and sad and awesome. Love. LOVE.

*Seriously. Just after Dahlia gets out of the hospital after being diagnosed, she and her parents head to Barnes & Noble: "This is what Jews do when the shit hits the fan. Go find books." How am I not Jewish?

(This post in English brought to you by a rainy day where I really felt like expressing myself with some semblance of clarity and intelligence.)

3 comments:

javu said...

Sometime, Ange, I think we were separated at birth. From our Jewish birth mom. I had almost exactly this same conversation with a friend a few days ago. Or similar, anyway -- the gist of it was that if I had to choose a religion, it'd be Judaism for roughly the same reasons you write here. The very next afternoon, the Jesus of my parents' youth struck back: between my house and an African dance class on Grafton I walked past four (four! in 6 blocks) Christian prayer cards and pamphlets lying on the sidewalk, all angled in my direction and exhorting me to repent my ways. Weird, right?

Ange Friesen said...

Eep. Get thee to a priest, I think. Not really, but yes, weird.

Ange Friesen said...

Oh! I didn't figure out this was you until now. After you posted on the other one. I was like, who is this person talking to me like they know me.

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