I’m having a problem. This is probably not news, but about this specific topic it is. Or, at the very least, it’s something I’d like to complain and whine publicly about.
You will pardon me, won’t you?
Here’s the problem. I won a copy of A True Novel by Minae Mizumura in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. The books (it’s a set of two) are so beautiful. Thick, richly detailed covers with thick, shiny white paper. So I immediately dove in.
The first part of the book is autobiographical, which I suppose ties in with Mizumura’s later description of the Japenese I-novel in which the author must play a role. The first part of the book is really very interesting; life as a Japanese girl in the 1960s and 1970s in America and a burgeoning, awkward friendship of sorts with a one-time private chauffeur who goes on to be a very wealthy man.
But then Mizumura gets to the end of her own personal story, and ends it with how she came to know the real story behind the one-time chauffeur, Taro Azuma. This is a story Mizumura has nothing to do with personally, other than writing it. In writing it, she calls it a “true novel” because it’s based on the true story of Taro Azuma, she even keeps his real name, but she’s fictionalized it to be a sort of Japanese version of Wuthering Heights.
Herein lies my Great Book Dilemma.
Having read the process of how Mizumura got to the point where she became a writer and wrote about Azuma, and thoroughly enjoyed it, I’m not finding myself all that interested in Azuma’s story.
Tough one, right?
So what should I do? Plough onward and, hopefully, upward into the “true novel” come hell or high water? Set it aside for a while and come back later to start with the “true novel” in a possibly vain attempt to make it a separate thing entirely? Declare the whole thing very pretty to look at with a very good first part and be done with it all?
Any and all suggestions are very welcome!