Wednesday, April 30, 2014

the last book I ever read (Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, excerpt twelve)

from A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra:

He was thirty-one years old and enrolled in the history doctoral program at Volchansk State University. On the day of Mirza’s wedding, he barricaded himself in the university library. He had considered kidnapping her, as Chechen grooms had done since time immemorial when failing to receive the approval of a bride’s parents. But he didn’t want to earn a reputation as a bride kidnapper, particularly not among his professors, and besides, it was too late. That afternoon she would marry the botanist she’d been betrothed to since her ninth birthday, and if botany wasn’t bad enough, the man also had a clubfoot and a collection of pressed flowers. All through the day Khassan read thick philosophical tomes, but not one explained the injustice of a world in which he would lose Mirza to a clubfooted botanist with a passion for pressed flowers. The botanist was a decent man, but Khassan was in love, and thus capable of infinite hate.

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