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12 Books You Should Read This October

Author: Lucy Kogler, Lit Hub columnist
Newspaper: LitHub
Date: Oct 3 2019

I have a chicken/egg fascination with women artists and their more famous male counterparts; I don’t always trust the paternalistic narrative. Fictionalized tellings allow for different “heroes” or at least co-heroes. Reading about the female half of the famed war photography Robert Capa was something I was looking forward to. Initially, I found it kind of messy and disjointed, but I quickly learned that if I treated each vignette, separated by double-spaced blank zones, as camera snapshots, the story revealed itself. Click, a new lover. Click, an old lover. Click, a flashback. What is created is a fictional montage of a woman who unabashedly acted out and on her passions: passionately anti-fascist, passionately and lustfully human. It is not a new story that war, shared political ideologies, and danger make for sexual passion; her sexual partners and her authority in the relationships are perfect examples. And though fiction, I believe she was certainly in charge. Her ending is a heroic one; she is run over by a tank as she captures the horrors of war. Each of the three friends that narrate the book weave a picture of a life fully and intrepidly led. Her tragic death is somewhat buffered by the memories of her friends who had the good fortune to survive the fascists of Spain and Europe.