Friday, September 06, 2019

Friday, September 06, 2019 11:12 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Vulture reviews Margaret Atwood's The Testaments, so beware of spoilers!
The third voice belongs to Aunt Lydia, that imperious, Taser-wielding Bible-camp counselor from hell whose backstory isn’t so much sketched in here as vividly painted in shades of blood red and drab brown. Hers is a written account of the Thomas Cromwell–like role she’s assumed as a Founder of the Aunts and architect of the Handmaids’ tightly regimented lives. It’s addressed to “my reader” — a subtle nod to Jane Eyre, one of Aunt Lydia’s favorite novels (ironically enough) — and has been secreted away in the Aunts’ private Hildegard Library, hilariously hidden in a copy of Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua. (Atwood’s dexterity with names and clever play with religious idiolect are a small Handmaid’s Tale pleasure that survives into the sequel.) “Who are you, my reader?” Aunt Lydia asks, “And when are you? Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps 50 years from now, perhaps never.” (Hillary Kelly)
The Atlantic also features Margaret Atwood:
When Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, she told me in her dry, steady voice, she “wasn’t thinking about [Lydia] that much at all.” Until she read Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, she never paid much attention to Mr. Rochester’s wife, either. “She’s sort of a fixture, like a lamp or something. You aren’t thinking about her past or her inner life or anything else about her. She’s just an impediment to Jane Eyre getting married.” (Sophie Gilbert)
Also on Vulture: 'The Best and Biggest Books to Read This Fall'.
Out of Darkness, Shining Light, by Petina Gappah (Scribner; 9/10)
Perhaps no story was as ripe for the Wide Sargasso Sea treatment (the revision of a classic by marginalized voices) as the tale of missionary David Livingstone’s death in Africa. In contrasting styles, the Zimbabwean novelist lets two characters describe their trek across Africa with Livingstone’s body, beautifully complicating the narrative. (Boris Kachka)
The New York Times' By the Book has a Q&A with Patti Smith.
What moves you most in a work of literature? To be taken to an abstract somewhere I had not yet imagined. To be told a story with unrelenting energy like “Wuthering Heights,” where one can feel the writer’s breath. To feel an unexpected kinship with the author, as if gazing into the same pool, seeming to share the same unspeakable language.
Fader interviews Chelsea Wolfe about her new album, Birth of Violence.
How did you arrive at the title Birth of ViolenceSometimes I write songs and I don’t exactly know what they mean as I’m writing them, and I look back at them and interpret and figure out what it means from there. At first when it was calling to me, it felt very much like an old book title. I used to work at a used bookstore in high school and I would spend most of my time perusing old books for cool covers and titles like Grapes of Wrath [and] Wuthering Heights. Birth of Violence felt very much in that realm to me. So there was that element to it, but [also] Birth of Violence is a personal awakening, a personal strengthening and coming into my own as a woman. When I looked up the word "violence" in my old dictionary, there was one definition that said "strength of emotion," and I thought that was really cool. Again, I try to think of the word "violence" in a poetic way, like looking at a field of bright orange poppies and violent blue. So I guess it’s kind of about claiming a word that can mean very ugly things and bringing it to a more poetic place. (Emma Madden)
There's an excerpt and a giveaway of  Charlotte Brontë before Jane Eyre by Glynnis Fawkes on A Dream within a Dream and D Wants to Read.


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