Tag Archives: Claire Messud

T-giving 1-line Book Reviews

Here are some books I’ve lately enjoyed, boiled down to concentrated truisms useful for holiday table talk, you’re welcome.

Octavia Butler: Young black women should rebuild our communities.

Wild Seed: The real fantasy here is that a woman can make herself wonderful/beautiful/powerful/loveable enough to ensure the dude won’t kill her or those she loves.

Fledgling: White supremacy is as timeless as a vampire’s ability to survive it.

Colson Whitehead: White capitalist supremacy has poisoned our land.

Zone One: Our consumption-fueled society undeads us, undeads everyone, transforms our sense of time, suffocates relationships, spreads gore and death, and FILLS NEW YORK WITH ZOOOOOOOMMMMMBIIIIEEEEEEEEES.

The Underground Railroad: Black communities engineer their own survival, and our country’s truest beauty, wrested from this desperation, steams along out of sight; bonus Holocaust reference reminds us of the universality of racial domination.

Claire Messud: Women’s primary relationships are with other women.

When the World Was Steady: Middle-aged sisters can take their mom’s advice, flirt with criminals, abandon their religion, repress their lust for women, fight and reconcile, and do any other damn thing a teenager can do thank you.

The Burning Girl: Class determines the life choices available to you, sure,  and women’s lives are forever obscured by our fabrications about them, yes, but no way can a high school junior write like that narrator.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reading Women’s Anger

Highlights from what I’ve been reading:

The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud

This novel launches auspiciously with a rant by a self-identified middle-aged angry woman, about the nature and depth of her anger. Methought “yes, please!” And I enjoyed it. Lovely sentences, interesting characters. But the symbolism was too on the nose. An unfulfilled, meticulous, self-contained woman artist making meticulous, self-contained dioramas of famously unfulfilled women artists. Her foil, a fulfilled, vaguely exploitative, worldly woman artist making room-sized joyful worlds out of “trash” and, it turns out, exploitation. Didn’t you hear? The Art Machine grinds people up! OTOH, Alice Munro said that all the women she knew upended their lives between 36 and 45. This is a decent story about that.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: