With little spare time at my disposal this week, I was happy to see the new issue of Granta, the much talked about F Word issue, arrive in the mail. Short pieces for short snatches of time to read. Like so many hyped up releases though, this one left me mildly disappointed if for no other reason than it seemed rather timid. A.S. Byatt, Lydia Davis, Eudora Welty, Francine Prose and on and on - the writers in this issue all appeal but as they delve into the current state of feminism in various approaches, nothing new or novel really struck me. Some really interesting reads but my currently crusty self kept thinking rehash.
One high point for me though was Helen Simpson's "Night Thoughts." In this clever and very funny inversion of the "natural order," a husband wakes at 3:29 in the morning, unable to fall back to sleep as his wife snores away undisturbed beside him. He worries why his wife fails to recognize how anxious he is about trying to juggle child care, running the house and looking after her. He wants to go part-time at work to spend more time with the children but does not know if they can afford it. He ponders the "unfair fact of nature" that women often grow more appealing with age while men have to see their sexual allure fade. He feels inadequate because of his wife's online porn habit. He worries that his son may be suffering from anorexia. And so on and so on. You get the idea. Just the right note is struck in this short piece to render it humorous and playful at the same time it has a satisfying bite.
Have not finished reading all but hope to today. This issue is entertaining. Just lacking the impact I wanted.
The rest of my reading day will be taken up with the recommendations from the work friends. Will finish Ender's Game first which I have enjoyed infinitely more than I expected. Was warned that the ending is somewhat unexpected so have been deliberately putting it off until I could imagine as many possibilities for myself first. Like it was a dare or something. But today is the day. And then the graphic novel Fun Home was suggested for both story and vocabulary of all things. The kids at school frequently accuse me of using too may big words. Maybe that is where that comes from? No matter, it has chapter titles like "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower." Everyone is reading something or comparing the dive into a sexual experience to Odysseus jumping into the fray. Good enough for me.
What are you reading this Sunday?