Gilgamesh by Joan London

Gilgamesh

Joan London

An epic saga indeed. All the major themes are here - war, chance encounter, love, hope, hardship of settlers' lives, single motherhood, quest for an ideal, political repression and terror, and war again. None of them dominated - the easy flowing yet deft narration suggests a myriad of human feelings and situations, but sweeps you on. The framework of the ancient Epic intrigued me - will it lead you back to the Sumerian world of 4500 years ago as well?

Extract

It was a place they often walked to, a wasteland high up over the river. It was just a few blocks away from Sakian Street and yet was empty as a field, a stretch of rocky earth where no one went. There was a vista of the other side of the river gorge, barren and vast as a quarry, and, in the distance, a row of factory chimneys lined up against the horizon. In summer red poppies grew here and you could stretch out in the sun. She thought for a moment of Manouk's club, the only place she had been warm. Now the cold ate her hands, bit her cheeks, made her nose run. Far above, birds wheeled under a thick, blind sky. The whole world was filled with absence, seeming fearful, unconsoled.

Parallels
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Among the Russians by Colin Thubron
  • Requiem for the East by Andrei Makine