Some books are simply this – unforgettable.
Stories that graft onto imagination, memory, even our bodies as they seep through our senses, winding their way beneath skin. We don’t simply read, we feel, travel, escape and for a moment, live these tales.
Once read, we carry them with us. Such stories can even change us.
After curating a particularly difficult exhibition (non-existent budget, tricky exhibition space, 12 hour work days, an impossible deadline etc. etc.), another curator working with me gave me a gift as a sign of appreciation for what I’d done. While I’ll never forget the kindness motivating the gift, the true treasure was the gift itself – a book.
‘Silk’ by Alessandro Baricco.
As the curator passed it on to me, I’ve been recommending it to people ever since.
Told as a fable, in 1861 a French silk merchant, Hervé Joncour, travels to the end of the world: Japan. His mission is to find and buy silk worms. Here he meets with the most ‘invincible’ man in Japan, Hara Kei, and at that first meeting there is another, a concubine with eyes that do not have an Oriental shape.
So it begins.
A love story lit by an unfathomable desire and a subtle eroticism, spanning time and a vast distance, and is compelling for having a will all its own.
A truly unforgettable story.