I read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, and I didn’t ‘get’ it, TBH. I understood it, of course, but it didn’t resonate with me in the way my teacher had hoped it would. It wasn’t until watching the new Hulu adaptation that I was really interested in the story. But I couldn’t understand why my memories of the book were so far from what the show was saying, so I dug out my old copy, still covered in post-its and margin scribbles, and forced myself to give it a second chance.
With my first reading, for whatever reason, I had a very obscure picture of the world Atwood was writing about. I wasn’t able to imagine what it would be like. But, after watching the series, I was able to really picture the world of Gilead, and it made me want to understand it better. So I decided to revisit the book, and I re-read it while watching the show. It completely changed my opinion of the novel, and now I love a book that I once hated.
Although I loved both the book and the series, I can’t ignore their differences. Though both are important and relevant, they have different missions and different lessons. The ideal would be for audiences to read and watch both; they inform each other, each provides what the other lacks. Continue reading
Rebecca Dunham is a poet and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative writing. Her work has been described as post-confessional and concerns itself with feminist and ecological issues. Her most recent publication, Cold Pastoral, is a collection of poems based on modern ecological disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She has published four other collections of poetry, including Fascicle, Glass Armonica, The Miniature Room, and The Flight Cage.
Q: What does Cold Pastoral mean, for you? What do you hope readers gain after reading the poems?
Personally, the book marks a point in my life when I had to take stock of my place in the world around me, as well as the function of poetry within that world. For readers, I hope that the poet-speaker’s journey will resonate with those of us who may mean well, but who have also blinded ourselves to the mounting human and environmental crises around us. I would hope that the book will encourage readers to consider their responsibility to others, as well as potential for language and literature to enact change. Continue reading
Salvador Plascencia’s debut novel The People of Paper raises questions regarding authorship and voice in a work. Blurring the lines between author and speaker, the work leaves readers questioning who is really getting to tell the story.
In a world where the victors of war (colonizers, or Saturn) dictate written history, The People of Paper offers a novel wherein the colonized (members of E.M.F.) have the opportunity to dictate their own point of view. This novel forces readers to question the authenticity of what they are reading; how much of the story has been fabricated, misrepresented, or mistold? This novel requires readers to glean their own understanding of truth by sifting through various sides of the same story. Continue reading
pg. 41: http://www.bounceapp.com/208967
For me, Danielewski’s work exemplifies the idea of multi-vocality and demonstrates it for readers in a variety of ways. I am most intrigued with the idea that we are “all standing on the shoulders of giants”; in other words, the idea that we reference authors of the past by reworking their texts or by embedding ancient characters and plots into modern contexts.
Many of the ideas in the book can be considered as echos of past authors. Myths are retold, ancient languages are translated, and authors are constantly referenced and cross referenced throughout the manuscript and footnotes. There is blatant evidence of Danielewski’s sources and inspirations, and it is clear that he leans heavily on works of the past. Continue reading