Marriage is a many- layered thing
how in the world would Taraborrelli know exactly what Beyonce’s mother said at a beauty parlour years ago? Word for word?
In the source notes, the author does credit a great number of people who went out of their way to assist with the book. In otherwords, the tell- tales who want their 15 minutes of fame.
It is noted that friends, relatives, journalists, socialites, lawyers, celebrities and business associates of the Knowles family were contacted in putting the book together. Taraborrelli and his research team also scoured pages of articles pertaining to the artiste who is known for her fierce stance on privacy. Beyonce is one heck of a private person and it is almost impossible to find any dirt on her.
Beyonce’s policy to never air her dirty laundry in public was evident during the 2014 Met Gala after- party incident that will forever be dubbed “Elevator- gate”.
Security footage from inside an elevator showed Beyonce’s sister, Solange, violently attacking Jay Z. Instead of trying to stop her sister or even protect her husband, she just stood silently by the side, more worried that the security guard was stepping on the train of her dress. Google it, the video is still there for all to see.
And when the trio emerged from the elevator to be greeted by the usual battery of camera flashes going off, Beyonce showed no signs of having undergone the bizzare scene just seconds earlier. So why did Solange kick and punch her only brother- in- law? Taraborrelli reveals the reason in this book. Like many of his other snippets, this nugget too is not verified by Beyonce or her management.
Nevertheless, it is still interesting to read about the events that supposedly happened in this public yet private persona’s life. The gossip may be stale, but the revelations are still pretty surprising.
If you’re a fan of this awesome embodiment of female power, Becoming Beyonce tells you how she got there and, boy, the ride sure wasn’t easy. SMALL talk is not for everyone, although trying to spark unnecessary conversations to break the ice is something we Malaysians are quite good at.
While reading the short stories in Julian Lee’s book, particularly chapter 19 on “Stating The Obvious” – about how we have a penchant for “observing the glaringly obvious” ( his words, not mine) – I chuckled at how true his observations are.
In my experience, it is like when you are taking a nap or about to fall into deep slumber when someone nudges you and decides to exchange pleasantries such as, “Sleeping, ah?”
Lee ( a senior lecturer at RMIT) attributes this phenomenon to “parrot chirps” or in the case of humans, an “acknowledgement of the other’s existence”. AESOP, the great fabler, once wrote about how “every truth has two sides”. The trouble is, not only does truth have more than one side, but so too do people; a fact that Fates And Furies demonstrates spectacularly, convincingly, unflinchingly. Lauren Groff ’ s wild, beautiful, daring book opens on a drizzly, blustery beach in Maine, where Lotto and Mathilde have arrived to celebrate their secret wedding. It is a fateful marriage for the both of them, and the point of convergence between two people who must learn what all married people do: to live together and fit two diverse personalities into one household. It is also a tale about the power of truth and secrets to shape and define each one of us.
Groff writes with a glittering, bewitching pen that is both stark and poetic, yet insightful and bold. In the simple premise of a marriage, she has given us a deep and introspective study of the psyche, from the influences that a
The book is divided into six sections: “Concerning Malaysia”, “Making The Connection – Malaysia( ns) In The World”, “Thinking Through The World”, “Traffic”, “Consumption And Received Wisdom” and “Other Probable Errors”. Within these are short anecdotes on life interactions – from intergroup relations to strategic uncomfortable chairs at McDonald’s, as well as sticky traffic matters.
Lee injects good humour into his stories ( which come complete with bibliography and footnotes) without trying hard to be funny, which is refreshing.
In his four- parter intergroup relations chapters, he gives an interesting perspective on how people from different socioeconomic groups understand one another and how we can hone the art of cross- group engagement.
As a foodie and a fan of chicken rice, I liked the story about the child’s beginnings can have upon his or her whole life, to the subtle, unknowing effects that personal choices – and those of a spouse, companions and family – exert upon each person’s destiny.
A very clever two- act device is employed here to masterful effect. In the first, we come to know Lancelot “Lotto” Satterwhite profoundly and intimately. Lotto, being white, male and wealthy, is a winner of the triumvirate of genetic success. We learn of his parentage, his formative years, and come to see how fate smiles upon this fortune’s favourite, giving him a life of privilege and ignorant bliss. Lotto begins life as an adored, golden child, then becomes an Adonis at college, but it isn’t until he finds success as a celebrated playwright that he comes into his own. He gives up his mother’s good graces and access to his riches in his impulsive marriage, and his selfless and devoted wife Mathilde becomes the bedrock of his life.
In the second act, we are shown Mathilde’s side of the history of Hainanese chicken rice, including which includes a review of one famous restaurant in Singapore. At first glance, this seemed quite random, but on the other hand, it was one of those things that make you go, “Hmm....”
Interspersed between the chapters are graphic artist Jun Kit’s quirky illustrations, with those in the story about “phantom vibes” being particularly notable – if you are one of those people who often feel your mobile phone is vibrating, only to realise that is not the case, you are not alone.
The last chapter, which zeroes in on the misconception of “being happy”, had me doing a double take, or in this case, a double read. You might want to reconsider purchasing that book on “how to be happy” because according to Lee – and I concur – we need to stop pressuring ourselves to be happy and just go with the flow. story, and we come to understand her personal demons and the furies that drive her. Beneath the veneer of the perfect wife and constant helpmeet, we come to understand the true complexity of her nature. The rose- coloured lenses through which Lotto views his wife and his life in general come off, and the revelations and twists come thick and fast.
Groffs’ searingly honest lens on marriage is a dark, mesmerizing journey that weaves Greek myth, language, love, sex, theatre, music and art into a heady, intoxicating mix. Her spare, concise writing coupled with a wicked instinct for word play gives this novel a witty, contemplative, almost conspiratorial tone. Like the masterpieces of theatrical tradition it is in equal parts a comedy and tragedy, and draws you in to the lives of the hero and heroine of the piece. They are never just the shining, beautiful couple that are the envy of all; they have all the flaws, insecurities, tragic pasts and immorality that plague the rest of us. In short, they are after all, merely human.