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

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

Archive