By Philip Graham
A dispatch from a overseas land, while crafted through an attentive and expert author, may be magical, transmitting excitement, drama, and seductive strangeness.
In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham bargains an elevated variation of a well-liked sequence of dispatches initially released on McSweeney’s, an exuberant but introspective account of a year’s sojourn in Lisbon along with his spouse and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as extensive as a citywide arts competition and as small as a unmarried paving stone in a cobbled stroll, Graham renders Lisbon from a point of view that varies among wide-eyed and figuring out; although he’s certainly now not a vacationer, even as he is familiar with he'll by no means be a neighborhood. So his lyrical debts exhibit his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an ungainly assembly with Nobel laureate José Saramago, being trapped in a budding football insurrection, and his daughter’s tough transition to formative years whereas attending a Portuguese school—but he additionally waxes loving approximately Portugal’s saudade-drenched song, its artistic food, and its bright literary tradition. and during his funny, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to grasp Graham himself, and his spouse and daughter, in order that whilst an unforeseen obstacle hits his kinfolk, we can’t aid yet pain along them.
A considerate, finely wrought occasion of the moment-to-moment pleasure of diving deep into one other tradition and confronting one’s mystery selves, The Moon, Come to Earth is literary shuttle writing of a unprecedented intimacy and immediacy.
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