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

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

Archive