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

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

Archive