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David Santos Donaldson

Autor(a) de Greenland

1 Work 79 Membros 5 Críticas

Obras por David Santos Donaldson

Greenland (2022) 79 exemplares, 5 críticas


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Greenland by David Santos Donaldson is an excellent treatise on how an author finds his voice. The premise of writing about E.M. Foster and his Egyptian lover connects the complex twists beautifully. My only complaint was the way the novel gets into magical realism, not my favorite genre.
GordonPrescottWiener | 4 outras críticas | Aug 24, 2023 |
Greenland by David Santos Donaldson is yet another novel based on a part of E.M. Forster’s life. Here it is Forster’s love affair with a young Egyptian, Mohammed el Adl.

Of the Forster based novels I read so far, to me this one is the weakest. I did appreciate the historical accuracy about this relationship that took place in Alexandria. And I see the similarities in the two storylines, one in early 20th century Egypt, the other in nowadays New York City and Greenland. The relationship between a black man and an older white man, the racism both Mohammed and Kip, the main narrator, have to deal with.
And Like Mohammed did with Forster, Kip tests his white lover and they both fail.

But it all felt overly constructed to me. Kip is going through some angst ridden feverish period while trying to write his first novel. To me it felt like I was inside the mind of someone who is psychotic, which I found unpleasant. And the final part where Kip ends up in Greenland and where Donaldson tries to weave together the characters of Mohammed and Kip, felt like an attempt to be overly literary which I didn’t buy from this debut.

That said, the prose itself was good and easy to read and I will certainly try another novel by this author if he writes one. But this book will be shelved and remain there, not to be reread.
… (mais)
leoslittlebooklife | 4 outras críticas | Sep 20, 2022 |
I was really intrigued by the premise of this book: Kip is writing a novel about E.M. Forster and his love affair with a Black man in Egypt, and because he himself is a Black man in a relationship with a white man, he sees a lot of parallels between his own life and the story he is writing.

Unfortunately, the book's execution is extremely heavy-handed and rather clumsy. I think Donaldson is aiming for magical realism, but misses the mark so that the narrator just comes across as insane.

I was disappointed by the lack of novel-within-a-novel. My main reason for picking this book up is that I like E.M. Forster and was interested in the story of him and Mohammed el Adl, but their story gets very little time in this book. The pieces of novel-within-a-novel that we get just barely add up to a short story, let alone a novel, and although the parallels between the two different stories are very clear, I didn't really feel like the Forster/Mohammed story contributed much to the main storyline.
… (mais)
Gwendydd | 4 outras críticas | Aug 21, 2022 |
In Greenland, David Santos Donaldson offers us a central character, Kip (short for Kipling) Starling, whose sudden swings in moods and thinking reflect his experience living as a gay black writer in the U.S. in a longterm relationship with a white man, racing against a three-week deadline to rewrite a novelization of E.M. Forster's love affair Mohammed el Adl, a black man living in Egypt during the struggle for Egyptian independence, so that the novel is presented from el Adl's perspective rather than Forster's. And there's the part about locking himself in a basement and boarding up the door so he can't do anything but write, and the part about what turns out to be a journey to Greenland, though that isn't the destination he was originally headed toward. Also, what may or may not be hallucinations.

To say that Greenland is not a tidy novel would be an immense understatement. But that's the point. Kip is struggling to live fully as himself in a society determined not to see him clearly and only minimally interested in what he has to say as a writer. Not tidy. Chaos.

This makes for a novel that is demanding of its readers. As you'll see if you peruse the reviews for Greenland, some show readers embracing Greenland's chaos, appreciating its complicated truths and contradictions, and some show other readers walking away from the novel and the demands it makes upon them. I'm not trying to depict a dichotomy here between "good" readers who get the novel and "bad" readers who don't. I'm just saying that either you'll find the payoff from reading Greenland sufficient or you won't.

At times, I did experience reading Greenland as work—but I also experienced it as revelatory with a breadth of vision that challenged me to see Kip's world in totality, rather than just letting me take a stroll down one of the many trajectories he travels simultaneously. If you share my literary inclinations, you'll be carrying this novel along inside yourself for a long time to come, turning bits and pieces over in your mind and exploring all the different ways they can be put together.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own.
… (mais)
1 vote
Sarah-Hope | 4 outras críticas | Jun 14, 2022 |





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