Gaskell perhaps didn’t realise it at the time, but what she has crafted is a nuanced history of the home and hearth from the perspectives of the people history forgets: the female, the disabled, the elderly, and the poor.
Like much literature written still in the mid-1990s, the female character is subjected to the whims of various male protagonists and comes to a violent and unnecessary end. I was stunned to discover the author of Song of Everlasting Sorrow was a woman.
Its writers like N. K. Jemisin that remind you that the world didn’t stop writing when a bunch of old white people up and died in the late nineteenth century.
The Dublin slang alone is enough to keep you reading. Jaysus. Bollix. Banjaxed. Gobshite. Bleeding shitehawk: poetry to the profane ear.
Hannah Pakula presents a confident appraisal of Soong Mei-ling: China’s ‘last empress’ – a competent political tactician, devout Christian and fairly incredible person.
‘Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.’
‘The shooting stars in your black hair / in bright formation are flocking where, / so straight, so soon?’
Not only does this pocket-sized travel companion provide up to date opening hours, handy maps, cafe details, nearby hotels and various phone numbers, it gives a whole new spin on the sometimes monotonous experience of being a tourist.
‘The less a person thinks and inquires regarding the why and the wherefore and the justice of things, when dragging along through life, the happier it is for him, and doubly, trebly so, for her.’
First published: 2012 Found: via my masters’ thesis research reading Pages/read time: 368, one frenzied reading afternoon Comments: ‘This consciousness and earnest will-power to move one’s public by the … Continue reading →