Unformatted text preview: bing higher in her remaining hand.
On this occasion, as Liesel stood in the cool surrounds of the room, her stomach growled, but no reaction was
forthcoming from the mute, damaged woman. She was in her bathrobe again, and although she observed the girl
several times, it was never for very long. She usually paid more attention to what was next to her, to something
missing. The window was opened wide, a square cool mouth, with occasional gusty surges.
Liesel sat on the floor. The books were scattered around her.
After forty minutes, she left. Every title was returned to its place.
“Goodbye, Frau Hermann.” The words always came as a shock. “Thank you.” After which the woman paid her
and she left. Every movement was accounted for, and the book thief ran home.
As summer set in, the roomful of books became warmer, and with every pickup or delivery day the floor was
not as painful. Liesel would sit with a small pile of books next to her, and she’d read a few paragraphs of each,
trying to memorize the words she didn’t know, to ask Papa when she made it home. Later on, as an adolescent,
when Liesel wrote about those books, she no longer remembered the titles. Not one. Perhaps had she stolen
them, she would have been better equipped.
What she did remember was that one of the picture books had a name written clumsily on the inside cover:
THE NAME OF A BOY
Liesel bit down on her lip, but she could not resist it for long. From the floor, she turned and looked up at the
bathrobed woman and made an inquiry. “Johann Hermann,” she said. “Who is that?”
The woman looked beside her, somewhere next to the girl’s knees. Liesel apologized. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be asking such things. . . .” She let the sentence die its own death.
The woman’s face did not alter, yet somehow she managed to speak. “He is nothing now in this world,” she
explained. “He was my . . .”
THE FILES OF RECOLLECTION
Oh, yes, I definitely remember him.
The sky was murky and deep like quicksand.
There was a young man parceled up in barbed wire,...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13