Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the last book I ever read (The Art of Fielding, excerpt four)

from The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach:

Pella stayed on the couch. She had a complicated attitude toward her dad’s performances. Deep down she loved to listen to him and thought he should have been a truly famous man—president of Harvard, at least, or a small but influential post-Soviet country. But the way he cranked up the charm at certain moments and then basked in the adulation of his audience annoyed her. She knew this was precisely a professor’s job—to build a repertoire of lectures, refine them over time, and perform them as charismatically as possible. To never seem sick of your own voice, for the sake of others. And yet. You could take the same class only so many times.

When the lecture ended Mike wrapped a big paw around Pella’s hand, smiled at her gently. Her annoyance faded as she glimpsed Westish College through his eyes. To her it was a run-down, too-rustic safety school to which her father had banished himself; to Mike it was everything, his home and family, the place into which he’d poured every bit of himself, and which, as soon as the semester ended, planned to book him out forever. He’d been trying to find a new home, a law school that would take him in, but it hadn’t panned out. If home was where your heart was, then Westish was Mike’s home. If home was where they had to take you in no matter what, then it was hers. She squeezed his hand.

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