Scott Clonan on Alexander Chee’s ‘Edinburgh’


I hope everyone had a chance to catch Frank DeCaro at the Clark County Library last month. If you do go to a library event and love it, please let us know by filling out a comment card. We really do take the comments of our patrons seriously. If you have something that you would like to see at the Library District, do let us know. We’re always open to new ideas.

Upcoming events include:

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day and the West Charleston Library is continuing its tradition of holding an event to celebrate that day. This year, they will be screening two short films at 2 p.m. on Dec. 1. They are: “Too Little, Too Late,” a documentary and “Mother, Mother,” a short film.

The library also will be hosting two panels of the AIDS Quilt, which it has done for several years. This year, the panels were selected to coincide with the art installation that is being shown there, “An American Family: An AIDS Legacy (1989-2019),” through December 3. Tomas Gaspar’s family chronicle has been one of the most iconic photographic documentations of the AIDS years.


BOOK REVIEW: “Edinburgh”                                           by Alexander Chee                                                  narrated by Daniel K. Isaac 

Alexander Chee is a celebrated author of “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel,” which is on my “to be read” list.

When looking for a new book this month, I wanted something lighter than I have been reading, so I looked for something set in Maine, my home state. I stumbled upon “Edinburgh” and it was available, so I could not pass it up. It is a beautifully written novel but far from a light read. It tells the story of the aftermath of years of sexual abuse by a choirmaster in a private school in Maine.

The way the story is told reminds me of a Robert Altman film where seeming unconnected storylines diverge by the end of the story. There are some very tough passages to read, so fair warning, this book will stay with you well after you read it.

I listened to the downloadable audiobook and sometimes the lyrical nature of the story telling over took me and I had to back up to concentrate on the actual events. I look forward to reading more from Alexander Chee.

These materials and events, and thousands more like them, can be accessed through with a valid library card and pin number. If you need a library card, simply stop by your local branch and present a valid, government-issued, picture ID or apply online. Please send your feedback and ideas for this column to ClonanS@ Scott Clonan is the branch manager for Sunrise Library.