Her uncle [is] in his room of imagined books. Everything smells of books: an odor of forgotten memories. This is the library of imagined books, her uncle says, because he never reads any of them. Still, he’s collected them from friends’ basements and attics, garage sales and widows’ dens, all over Culver City, West Hollywood, Pasadena, Laurel Canyon, picking books for their heft and their leather-belted covers. The actual pages don’t matter.
passage from Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber
I’ve heard it said that there are always two sides to a story: There’s the official history, the version that’s set into the page, then filed away in the archives where it waits for when the librarian comes to retrieve the facts to footnote some learned paper or discourse. Then there’s the way an individual remembers the event; that version sits like an old woman on a lonely porch, creaking back and forth in her wicker rocker as she waits for a visitor.
I think there’s a third version as well: that of the feral child, escaping from between the lines, from between how it’s said the story went and how it truly took place.
passage from “A Tempest in Her Eyes” by Charles de Lint