A description of a smile

April 29, 2009

Penning the screenplay to a few movies on my radar, “Where the Wild Things Are” and co-written with his wife, “Away We Go,” I’ve started to feel a bit left out* about Dave Eggers. So I went over to spl.org and filled up my queue with some of his novels. The first to become available was “You Shall Know Our Velocity.”

The book is about two childhood friends that set out on a week long journey around the world with their main goal being to give away a large sum of money.

I’m really enjoying his writing. He writes in a way that I have a hard time differentiating the author and the character’s voice. He writes in a way, that seems so autobiographical.  Specifically the way the main character’s mind works.  Anyone that can describe the inner workings of a mind in that way, must have similar mental wiring as his character.

There are many passages that I’d like to transpose here — at the top of the list is the way his mind catalogs good memories and bad ones — but I’ll just pass along this one description of a smile.

The main character, Will, and his best friend and traveling buddy, Hand, are describing a beautiful local woman in Senegal.

“We left, getting a better look at her on the way out — demure but with a smile like the thrusting open of curtains.”

I appreciate original descriptions that I’ve never considered, but so clear in their intent. I still can’t get over this one.

*Feeling left out of pop culture phenomenons also led me to reading TWILIGHT, which I still haven’t regretted.


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