Happy Christmas Eve Everyone!

Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich CT. Visit norwichdiocese.org for more.

Today, I thought I would share some thoughts with you about one of my favorite novels of all time: TIGANA by Canadian fantasy writer Guy Gavriel Kay. Here is a book review I wrote a while ago, which I decided to recycle for your enjoyment today. Have a Safe & Happy evening (and don’t forget to travel safely!)

The story of a disappeared state (TIGANA by Guy Gavriel Kay)

Cover to the Croatian version of TIGANA

I am a fan of Guy Gavriel Kay’s writing, and TIGANA is one of my favorite novels. It begins with a provocative prologue, which segues into a day in the life of a talented 19-year-old singer, who’d just been ripped apart (verbally) by the newest member of the troupe, an attractive red-maned young woman.

US trade paperback version
UK version

Naturally, things are not what they seem, and I loved meeting this cast of quirky characters, some of whom have unexpected nobility attached to them.

In his Author’s Note, Guy Gavriel Kay says that this novel is about memory, its importance and misuse. But what struck me was that Tigana is an exploration of a disappeared state, a place that is wiped off the map so completely that even when its old name is uttered, no-one can hear it. It reminded me of 19th-century Poland, which didn’t exist between 1795 and 1918. As the author notes, most insurrections are inspired by a loss of language and culture (think of the Irish, the Welsh, the Scots, the Basques and Yugoslavia.) Losing a name is a tragedy. It is not the mere loss of a proper noun, but a psychological assault on a person’s identity and culture, the probing knife that curdles ones self-respect. The emotional fallout can be vast, resulting in grief, rage, and everlasting bitterness.

The Disappearance of Poland in the 1790s as Russia (Green) Prussia (Blue) and Austria (Yellow/Orange) grabbed land. Poland would not reappear as a nation until 1918. Source: Kafkadesk.

And this is what this novel so beautifully delineates. Five stars. #guygavrielkay #tigana

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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