Rereading Cat’s Eye while rereading Rosemary Sullivan’s biography of Margaret Atwood emphasized the parallels between the narrator’s and author’s childhoods. I was a teenager when I read Cat’s Eye for the first time; I would have had no idea that Elaine’s childhood of lakes and insects was Peggy’s childhood
“This is the way it’s done, isn’t it? This is how other people do it.” How other people live their lives, that is. When Carol Shields tells the story of Larry Weller’s life, it begins with his having picked up somebody else’s coat and it ends with a party.
This year, for Margaret Atwood Reading Month #MARM, we’re playing BINGO. (If you’re printing your playing card, don’t forget to select “Shrink to Fit” in your printer’s options, so your card will fill a single sheet of paper.) In recent weeks, looking ahead to November was like having a
It wasn’t so long ago that I was rereading The Box Garden (for #1977Club). But last year I was thinking only of Charleen and had forgotten whatever I’d ever known about her sister Judith, whom I’ve recently gotten reacquainted with, rereading Shields’ debut, Small Ceremonies (1976) earlier this year.
A lot of readers discover Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca as teenagers, but I was fully grown and reading books inspired by browsing the local feminist bookshop, writers like Audre Lorde and Marilyn Frye, bell hooks and Gloria Alzandúa. In my stacks that year, 87% of the books were