Friday, January 28, 2005

Liberating Paris

I finished reading Liberating Paris the first novel by the award-winning TV writer and producer Linda Bloodworth Thomason this morning over a cup of Earl Grey tea (with lemon (for Vit C!), milk, and sugar). You may know her name. She created, wrote, and produced Designing Women, one of my all-time favorite TV programs. I heard an interview with her this fall with David Crabtree on WUNC. If you follow this link, you can hear the interview yourself. After hearing the interview, I was excited to get the book and dive in.

Well, I had to pack everything to move to Israel, work was crazy, and I was trying to make time to visit everyone. So, I didn't manage to read it before I left NC. I actually didn't have room for it in my luggage and I left the book with my mother. I thought that she would enjoy it.

She sent it back to me (un-read, I think) along with tons of other goodies for Christmas.

I have spent the past couple of days laughing out loud and tearing up at some of the stories in this book. Linda has something to say and her characters get her message across loud and clear. If you remember the character of Julia Sugerbaker from Designing Women, you'll know what I mean. Linda's characters are crafted from experience. I KNOW the people she introduces us to in this book - I grew up with them or they are parents of friends.

Now, the book is straightforward in its message. That's something that often turns me off in books. But Thomason has a way with words and humor that makes it all very charming. Her experience at writing entertaining television shines through this book. You are challenged a little, you're entertained a lot, and there is a happy ending. Even though the whole expressed is like a soap opera.

Here are some quotes:
They felt they didn't understand the world anymore or anything in it. This strange new place where rules took precedence of common sense and committees were formed to deduce things that children would know. Where people told all their secrets on national talk shows and appeared on the covers of magazines, not for their strengths, but their weaknesses. Where even criminals had no honor now, but just killed people just for the fun of it and destroyed things just because they were there...some had even switched off their television sets, giving up on of their last bridges to the outside world, because they could no longer comprehend the things that were on it, and especially not the girls that looked like Mary Tyler Moore but had semen on their faces. (A stab at Sex and the City!)

"The overriding message that one may take from all of literature is simply the idea that getting up in the morning is a remarkable act of human courage."


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