Is there room for a boundless bond? How much of our identity and the way we relate to others is derived from the stories we tell ourselves? When does being bound provide comfort and security, like a baby perfectly swaddled, and when does it crush our soul? Who might we be if we don’t allow ourselves to be crushed by the binds of duty and expectation?
“What is the good of expansiveness if one doesn’t expand? What is the good of so much possibility if one only feels it as a widening in the chest while driving down a country road at dusk, or when, standing still in the rooms of the house when the children are shared out at their father’s, one suddenly becomes aware of a silence so pure that it raises the hairs on the back of one’s neck?” (The Husband, Krauss)
Marriage, parenthood, divorce, grief, love, power, duty, men, strong women, daughters and sons, vulnerability, weakness and strength, these are some of the themes that Nicole Krauss deftly explores in her most recent, triumphant, literary work, To Be a Man. The Guardian says, “Krauss writes like an angel.” And I agree.