I couldn’t ignore life

I recently had PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) – a form of laser eye surgery to correct 24 years of myopia and glasses dependence. It has been 7 weeks since the surgery and I am finally getting to a point where I can see things a little clearly. I will share my surgery experience soon.

One thing I missed the most these past 7 weeks is reading. Indeed, as quoted by Fernando Pessoa, ‘Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life’. Unable to read clearly these past few weeks, I had to face everything my mind had tried to ignore. I tried listening to audio books but to me, there’s a world of difference between reading for yourself and been read to. Perhaps, it is the feel of the paper, its smell, or the font of the typed words.

Fortunately, when my mind could free itself of life’s reflections, I had time to reminisce about old books I had read that influenced me greatly. One such book is Tess of the d’Urbervilles. I read it several times as a young teen but to this day, its effect on me hasn’t lost its hold. Its themes of rape, the burden of beauty, patriarchy and the double standards of men resonate loudly. What book remains unforgettable to you?

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