Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman

It was too late to pretend he hadn’t seen her. Juliet was already squinting with recognition. For an instant she looked pleased to make out a familiar face on a crowded street. Then she realized who it was. Was it wrong of me to expect one hell of a novel behind that lovely jacket? The […]

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood: Lusus Naturae

Lusus Naturae is narrated by a girl who turns grotesque at the age of seven. Little girl’s family – members of almost high society who are terrified and chagrined of what her appearance would mean to their status – brings in a doctor from a far away land to restore her looks, only to have her decreed a freak of […]

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

I looked like a girl you’d expect to see on a city bus, reading some clothbound book from the library about plants or geography, perhaps wearing a net over my light brown hair. You might take me for a nursing student or a typist, note the nervous hands, a foot tapping, bitten lip. I looked […]

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood: Dark Lady

Dark Lady is loosely connected to both Alphinland and Revenant short stories and based on Marjoree, the last link in a love triangle. Marjoree; also referred to as Jorrie, no longer young, lives with her twin brother, Martin. As the Starr star has risen, so has Jorrie’s own star faded: she no longer twinkles, she no longer monkey-shines. Constance and Gavin both made […]

Days in the History of Silence by Merethe Lindstrøm

I was the one who let him in. Later I called him the intruder, but he did not break in. He rang the doorbell as anyone at all might have done, and I opened the door. It unsettles me still when I think about it. Really that could be what bothers me most. He rang […]

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood: Revenant

In Revenant, which is loosely connected to Alphinland, we meet Constance’s faithless ex-lover, Gavin. Gavin is now an old man living with his third wife, Reynolds, who is thirty some years junior to him. He is an accomplished author and it seems Naveena, a literary scholar from Iowa, is basing her thesis on his work. Although he is […]

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

One year into her newspaper reading, she was six months behind. When they returned to Rome in the 1980s, she remained stranded in the late 1970s. When it was the 1990s outside, she was just getting to know President Regan. When planes struck the Twin Towers, she was watching the Soviet Union collapse. Today, it […]

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood: Alphinland

Alphinland follows the story of Constance; the recent widow of Ewan. With her two boys married and “conveniently far for them to visit”, Constance lives on her own. But with Ewan’s voice in her head to guide her, she is not afraid to live by herself, after all Ewan was always a good planner. And besides even if she […]

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. The opening line of The Blind Assassin – that is how Margaret Atwood hooked me. Many summers have passed since then, and after spending many evenings devouring six more of her books, here I am today, with a shiny copy of Stone Mattress in my hands […]