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

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

Archive