Ask a Bookseller: A Mother-Daughter Story of Travel and Art – MPR News

In the week that included International Women’s Day, it seemed only right to focus on a book centered on the mother-daughter relationship. The recommendation comes from Shannon Daniels of Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan.that Jessica Au’s novel says “Cold Enough for Snow” it was his best pick this year.

“Cold Enough for Snow” by Jessica Au

Courtesy photo

The novel is partly a travel story, as we follow a mother and daughter who decide to visit Japan as a way to strengthen their relationship. The daughter is older; his mother, he realizes, has grown older than he remembered. Her story, Daniels said, forms the framework for what is essentially a novel of ideas about art, beauty and relationships.

One of the big questions the book raises, Daniels said, is “how is it possible to have the feeling that really good art gives us, outside of an artistic experience. How, can it be found in a relationship or in a place? or some other kind of transcendent experience?”

Au’s novel was selected from a pool of 1,500 entries worldwide as the inaugural winner of the 2020 New Direction Novel Prize, and the novel was published in 2022.

Daniels said that reading the novel gave him the same kind of feeling he gets from looking at his favorite works of art, both painted and written.

“It’s nice to read something that brings back that strange sense of transcendence.”

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