Sunday, February 1, 2015

All My Puny Sorrows

A Christmas gift from DH.  I have always been a little leary of prize winners/nominees for the Giller Prize as contemporary fiction has, for the most part, always been a bit of a bummer for me.  I am made for other stuff, some brilliant, campy science fiction, some Greek philosophy, historical tales or some fantastic fiction that transports you to somewhere else and makes you want to stay there...
All My Puny Sorrows kept me firmly right here and in my head (the parts where the bad stuff lurks). 
It was a hard read, because it was about suicide, a subject I really balk at because I know what it's like to have someone you love try to take their life.  It happened to me twice, and the second time she blamed me for not wanting to live anymore.  Like my presence was so disgusting to her that I made her want to die.  I don't think that's something that anyone can really recover from, there are scars.
So this book was hard, and in the beginning I was mad at the sister (Elf) who was trying to end her life.  But this changed.  Toews writing is so poignant, it changed my mind about Elf as her own sister was reaching the same conclusions.  Which makes Miriam Toews a powerful writer in my eyes, because after reading her story I could feel compassion for the woman who wants to leave, instead of anger.

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