Thursday, July 02, 2009

Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

I've just finished this beautiful long historical sci-fi novel from 1992 by Connie Willis, about a grad student in medieval history who time-travels back to the 1300s and is accidentally stranded in 1348, the black plague. There is lots of history, but the novel really turns on a portrayal of the fierce love the student comes to feel for the child Agnes. Willis is so amazingly assured in drawing the dialogue between the two, as the plague descends on the village, that it cannot be other than real, and yet it is a novel. Breathtaking, to me.

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