Thursday, March 11, 2004

How different this is from my childhood!

In grade three I had finally read my first novel (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) when my dad declared that he would be choosing my reading material from then on. First up, Great Expectations (abridged), followed by Robinson Crusoe (abridged), Moby Dick (unabridged), Tom Sawyer (unabridged and the impetus of a childhood crush), and others. Every day he would ask me what happened in the book to the part I read that day.

There was no way to fool him. I wanted so much for that creepy old woman in her wedding dress to excavate earthworms or jump out of her stale wedding cake. All those cobwebs scared me. My summary of the story had to reflect Dickens' words because my father had already read this book and others when he was just slightly older than me.

His books were handwritten copies secretly passed from reader to reader, out of authority's sight.

Once I could read, it was my duty to him to justify all the risks he took in escaping from Romania.

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