An enlarged heart : a personal history - download pdf or read online

By Cynthia Zarin

ISBN-10: 0307962199

ISBN-13: 9780307962195

ISBN-10: 1400042712

ISBN-13: 9781400042715

ISBN-10: 1400077648

ISBN-13: 9781400077649

This beautiful prose debut from prize-winning poet Cynthia Zarin is a poignant exploration of the author’s stories with love, paintings, and the shock of time’s passage.

Zarin charts the moving and intricate parameters of latest existence and relations in writing that feels approximately fictional in its richness of scene, discussion, and temper. the author herself is the marvelously rueful personality on the heart of those stories, at the beginning a bewildered younger girl navigating the terrain of recent jobs and borrowed flats in a long-vanished manhattan urban. by means of the tip, even if describing a newlywed trip to Italy, a child’s life-threatening affliction, Mary McCarthy’s dossier cupboard, or the internal lifetime of the New Yorker employees, this background of the guts exhibits us how continual the previous is in returning to us with completely new lessons.

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Example text

A few years later, when we were looking for a place to live, we found a house in a field that I loved. There were bees in the walls, and he cupped his hand against the beams and said, Listen. I was tired and my feet, which always swell on airplanes, were too large for my shoes. The crumpled airmail envelope in my hand, its blue the color of the sky that scraped the top of the buildings, noted Ivetta’s apartment number. I pressed it. Almost immediately, a voice answered: low, made of amber even in the machine’s raspy throat.

He had finished his limonata and Ivetta now poured coffee into espresso cups. The cups were white porcelain with gold rims. A great-aunt of mine, who lived in Palm Beach, had an identical set of cups, and for a moment the coincidence startled me. Once a few years later, after our daughter was born, I was sitting on a sofa in an apartment on Pierrepont Street, in Brooklyn, a street that led down to a windy playground from which my friend and I had just returned with our little girls. I noticed that the coffee table on which we had put our mugs and the children’s spouted cups was the same table that had been in my grandmother’s apartment in Chelsea, a mahogany oblong with gilded moldings and small claw feet.

She was here in Rome, because she did not want to leave the apartment. Indeed she had not left the apartment for a week, except to visit her mother in her villa in Trastevere. Did we want something to drink? We did. It was eleven o’clock in the morning. She left the foyer and emerged moments later with tall glasses filled with limonata and ice. She made the sign of the cross. Her mother was dying in Trastevere. The mint in the limonata was from her garden. In Trastevere, she told us, through the whole house, which was four stories and looked at the river with twelve eyes, all shutters were closed because her mother could no longer stand the light.

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An enlarged heart : a personal history by Cynthia Zarin

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