Sep 14, 2009

Apocalyptic Atwood

Posted by Josee Corrigan

I am a fan of Margaret Atwood and not just because she is a prolific Canadian writer. Her writing makes me feel disgusted, overjoyed, fascinated, and hateful all at the same time. (Sounds good doesn't it?) My favorites from the genre of horrible-future-focused-depictions-of-the-world-twisted-just-slightly-beyond-recognition-yet-uncomfortably-familiar, are The Handmaid's Tale (1985), and Atwood's more modern depiction of our doomed world, Oryx and Crake (2003). Oryx and Crake is especially creepy in that "I need to take a shower and watch some romantic comedy drivel to get this off of me!" kind of way. The Year of The Flood, her newest book, sounds like another doozy. Watch for it. The Year of The Flood is reviewed by the Globe and Mail at:

The bookclub I belong to is currently reading Honeymoon in Purdah (2000) by Canadian author, Alison Wearing. I can't wait to get to it. Here's a description:

"To go beyond the legacy of revolution, religious fundamentalism and veiled women and find the real people of Iran, a young Canadian dons the cloak of Islam. The result of Alison Wearing's journey is a warm, funny and shocking collection of riveting portraits and stories about the generous, irrepressible people she met. With a novelist's love of language and eye for detail, she takes the reader into the homes and hearts of people whose spirit, intelligence and laughter enlighten and impress. Beautifully written, engaging, fascinating at every turn, Honeymoon in Purdah reveals an Iran rarely seen by Westerners and leads this exceptional bestselling young writer across new literary borders."

I'll keep you posted.

The best-selling author of Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami, recently published a memoir called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. A marathon runner and triathalete, in addition to novelist, his memoir explores the intricacies of writing and oddly running. For those, like me, who are fascinated by this writer, this biographical work reveals the author through two subjects in which he is passionately involved. He is an author worthy of further exploration.

Finally, The Slap by Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas is another book I've got on the go. This book is like a sail in the wind, twisting and turning; I am both fascinated and disgusted by the lives of the characters. So far, I like it and am surprised to like it! Tsiolkas reveals the underbelly, what is unlikeable, within his characters - for example, egotistical, violent men, obsessive mothers, and painfully self-conscious, misguided teenagers. However, it reads "real"; I like the grit. The characters in The Slap become so close you can see their pores, smell their breath, and hear their hearts racing. I can see why Tsiolkas won the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book with this novel. He's nailed human reaction on the head and uncautiously depicts racist, sexist, ethnic Australian stereotypes. It's interesting. However, that's only my opinion. Here's a contrasting review from the Globe and Mail:
Let me know what you think...

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