Sunday, November 16, 2008

Emma Donoghue

Just to get things going on my blog, I've decided to paste in some old correspondence. The following is from January 2004:

My lesbian book group is discussing Emma Donoghue’s Hood tomorrow night, so I’ve reread it. It was as good or better than my first reading of it. I like it best of all her books. Kissing the Witch is my second-favourite. Sara Nelson mentions Slammerkin in her memoir, So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading. Nelson LOVED Slammerkin, which she describes as being all about fashion in 18th century England - maybe that’s why I found this novel tedious. It was a slog for me to finish the book, and I only persevered because I had enjoyed 3 other books by her. Nelson compares it to the similar storyline of Alias Grace, which she found to be “didactic and moralistic.” I disagree totally, vastly preferring Atwood’s story over Slammerkin. Anyway, Nelson wrote that Slammerkin was Donoghue’s first novel, which irritated me to no end. Stir-Fry and Hood were both published in the USA, so that’s no excuse for her ignorance. Still, I enjoyed Nelson’s memoir and could relate to many of her confidences about the experience of reading, even though I didn’t necessarily agree with her tastes.

Update November 2008:
Our book group discussed Slammerkin earlier this year. Find more about the group at

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