Friday, October 22, 2010

Blind Assassin

Day 256 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and a young woman will be reading or re-reading a stack of bestsellers that includes The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood, The Hours, by Michael Cunningham,  The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, and The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and here's why:

1) She is going on a long trip and will have hours to read!

2) She is working on an assignment to examine issues of appearance, specifically dress and behavior, in a recent bestseller.

What a great assignment!  Now I want to read or re-read a novel with that in mind.  She was particularly excited about The Blind Assassin, an Atwood novel she hadn't read yet, which she found next to The Handmaid's Tale, the one she had asked about. (I had just placed them side by side on the floor, where they tend not to be an alphabetical order.  They are [supposed to be] in alphabetical order on the shelves, and are sometimes in alphabetical order on the floor, our overflow spot, but not always.)

She hadn't read or seen the film of The Hours, which I had recently watched (half of), so I alerted her that the three main female characters are explored in three different time periods, so behavior, dress, and "appearance" in multiple meanings of that word are intensely present in that novel.

She had read and remembered The Secret Life of Bees, and was excited to compare child and adult, black and white cultures, and matters of "appearance" in that novel.

And I said, "Oh, I have been wanting to read The Shadow of the Wind," and her friend sweetly showed me that we have another copy of it there at Babbitt's on the Select New Arrivals shelf!

While the cover art and content of Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi, directly address issues of clothing, behavior, and appearance, it is indeed a memoir, and she must read a novel for this assignment.

1 comment:

Julie Kistler said...

That is a gorgeous cover. It does its job -- I want to read THE BLIND ASSASSIN and I don't even know what it's about.