My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Enough about my stories. I'm sick of my writing. What I'm not sick of is the writing of Khaled Hosseini. I am only 1/4th of the way into The Kite Runner, an exquisite book by Hosseini that is part fiction and part anthropology lesson. Set in Afghanistan, a country whose name formerly conjured up not much more than a rocky barren landscape with sheeted blurs for people -- those people,now one sees, are very much like you and me. From their blue jeans to their weakness of character. Hosseini has painted his country with a rich mixture of colors and textures, hate and love, pity and shame. I was shocked to find it such a beautiful and moving book! If you haven't read it take the word of the NY Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Isabel Allende and more and get thee to a bookstore or a library or Amazon.com quick. I can hardly wait to finish blogging so I can crawl into my bed and read right now.
To learn more about Khaled Hosseini check out his website at http://www.khaledhosseini.com . Exciting news for Southern Californians - he'll be in Pasadena this weekend (March 18 & 19th) as part of Pasadena's One City, One Story event. The whole town will be reading The Kite Runner. If you can't make this event, he'll be back to Santa Monica in May.You'll find a link to all the details on Hosseini's site.

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