Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Victim of Narrative

Louise Erdrich - Sunday, January 31, 2010
Our first book and supper club selection was Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro.  I chose the book because I am a great admirer of Alice Munro and because I love short stories.  She never lets me down.  Mordant, ordinary, strange, funny, offhandedly sublime.  The two nights of book club discussion were so much better than I'd feared (as an introvert).  The people who came were tremendous and they had loads to say so I didn't have to carry the conversation at all.  Elation!  And I must say that the dinner by Kenwood Cafe was utterly delicious and left me warm and happy.  But was there too much happiness?  Well, the title is found in the last story of the book -- possibly the last words of a female mathematics genius.   Too much happiness, indeed.

Yet my distress over my addiction continues, and I seek some affirmation that will free me from the endless Aubrey/Maturin series of sea novels about The British Navy, a series well known as the tar baby of narrative (too much boredom?  Alas, no, vertiginous sea battles!  Utterly compelling characters, both male and female)  I've known relationships to founder on these rocks.  Marriages to beat against the lee shore of these novels and succumb.  Once you've started, with Master and Commander (forget the movie), you'll be keel hauled right in and there goes your winter.  You'll be a victim of narrative.

Coming up in May: the publication of Mohamed's Ghosts, by the young old-school prize-winning journalist Stephan Salisbury.  His book is about all of us -- victims of narrative following 9/11.  He cared to think about what was happening to the ordinary people who belong to a mosque, struggle to be American and to follow their beliefs as well.  This is a wrenching and outrageous story of our own shadow country conjured out of fear.

If I can unstick myself from Patrick O'Brian I will let you know how I did it.  I'm going to check out a 12 step sea novel program . . .  

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

euphoria Alice Munro Dartmouth Ojibwe gardens Remarkable Trees graphix President Obama H2Oil joy The Game of Silence the most romantic city in the world leaves and snow trees Ojibwemowin E.L. Doctorow peculiar touches of green and gold Botany support incarnation Anishinabe The Blue Sky Collective Denial green tree books Kate DiCamillo Wolf Hall Hillary Clinton birchbark house series The Transition Handbook ireland Nero spring photography Tar Sands Louise Patrick O'Brian Anton Treuer Nemesis Bill Moyers Journal The Porcupine Year plants This Green World monkey in a dryer cafe closing Poetry Mankato Powwow Birchbark Books Chickadee how good looking you are sweden Native Arts ptsd local economy pilgrims The Ojibwe Unnatural Disasters The Resilient Gardener Kabul Tree Houses neighborhood north dakota Book Review Peak Water boarding school Magers and Quinn Master Butchers Singing Club 2666 The Birchbark House Makoons japan fresh water show your love post holiday reads ependent Video friends knowledge Women and Trees Gail Caldwell anniversary Greenland Keepers of the Trees Love Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge Islam Minnesota language revitalization coyote health care reform Beth Dooley Education Aza The Farmer's Daughter The Wealth of Nature italy Vic Glover france Gary Clement gratitude Easter Island Philip Roth Minneapolis Bleak House cafe Guthrie Theater Aubrey/Maturin Too Loud A Solitude china Rare Books Kenwood Gardens The Royal Prussian Library Stephen Salisbury Keystone XL Zombies buffalo aquifer Empire of the Summer Moon Too Much Happiness Up Late Again The Round House Victory Gardens Pembina Dogs Jim Harrison Light in August Fireworks favorite dog Ha Jin Peak Oil NACDI:All My Relations British Navy post holiday S.C. Gwynne Hilary Mantel School Gardens Wendy Makoons Geniusz State Troopers Canada favorite tree thank you friends Green Team Interview Wastepaper Let's Take the Long Way Home Roberto Bolano Climate Change Michael Jackson Population thanks book and dinner club Crushing Books Bohumil Hrabal Catalyst Anishinabemowin mississippi Afghanistan devoted customers World on the Edge William Trevor Emily Johnson adventure customers city of books Ice Small Bookstores as Commons Alan Weisman bill mckibben Mohamed's Ghosts National Book Award twins Brown Dog Native People favorite book solstice, Thomas King Czech Writer More Remarkable Trees Milkweed Press germany Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive Gryphon Press Chitra Divakaruni 350.org

Archive