Book of the week


Nina Balatka, by Anthony Trollope

"Nina Balatka was a maiden of Prague, born of Christian parents, and herself a Christian -- but she loved a Jew; and this is her story."

Irritated by the reading public's habit of choosing books based on the fame of the authors, Trollope published this anonymously, trying to disguise his style with a Prague setting and slightly more formal prose.

But not even Trollope could disguise Trollope. Only he could put an all-consuming world-class love affair into the hands of such charmingly ordinary protagonists. Starving to death and almost alone in the world, Nina Balatka struggles with issues bigger than she is, but Trollope never lets the narrative sink under the weight of her problems. Even in the depths of agony over the perfidy of her lover, Nina can still be delighted by the gift of used stockings from her friend. She is pleasingly real.

Read this if you've read other Trollope novels and liked them, or if you were exasperated by the melodrama of Anna Karenina.



If I were Anthony Trollope, I'd be too busy being irritated about having the last name "Trollope" to spare much irritation for anything else.

Heh. When I was first assigned a Trollope book on a college syllabus I thought my professor was making a weird joke.

"Am not! Am not! Professor, take it back!"

i've always kind of liked the name trollope. because it's like troll and trollop. are trolls trollops? trollops trolls?

this week i am reading dianna wynne jones' new book, 'house of many ways'. a sequel to howl's moving castle! so far it is just as delightful, though howl and sophie are not in it yet.