Sunday, May 04, 2008
We had an excellent discussion around Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin this month. Slammerkin was a fascinating read - "historical fiction" with dark, bawdy humour. Some members who started off hating it even came around a wee bit during the discussion. It's always interesting that a writer can create unlikeable characters and still make the reader care about them. I came across readinggroupguides.com, which had some great discussion questions for Slammerkin. We touched on a few of them - especially this one: "Is Slammerkin a woman's story, or an exploration of powerlessness in all its forms?" We seemed to all agree that it really is an exploration of the idea of powerlessness - how people choose to live out their lives in a culture and society that allows them almost zero choice. It was basically succumb to your lot in life, or die. Not a pretty picture! Enjoyed the discussion immensely!
Next month we're reading a classic: Jane Rule's Desert of the Heart. Jane Rule, who passed away just last fall, was a bit of a lesbian icon. (Here's what wikipedia has to say about her.) Desert of the Heart was published in 1964 after Rule was rejected by 22 publishers! A movie was made based on the book in 1985, Desert Hearts. The movie is definitely not my favourite, but I know many people consider it pivotal!