The Tent (Margaret Atwood) 4*

She’s sharp, and what cuts most is that she cares.  I wonder if I will grow into her.  For unclear reasons I think of Atwood as one of the Fates, the Crone for sure.

This book is hard to describe, even for the purposes of classifying as fiction or nonfiction, much less fantasy or poser lit or scholarly essay.  Here’s a taste:

If you’d wanted the narrative line you should have asked earlier, when I still knew everything and was more willing to tell.  That was before I discovered the virtues of scissors, the virtues of matches.

I was born, I would have begun, once.  But snip, snip, away go mother and father, white ribbons of paper blown by the wind, with grandparents tossed out for good measure.  I spent my childhood. Enough of that as well.  Goodbye dirty little dresses, goodbye scuffed shoes that caused me such anguish, goodbye well-thumbed tears and scabby knees, and sadness worn at the edges.

Adolescence can be discarded too, with its salty tanned skin, its fecklessness and bad romance and leakages of seasonal blood.  What was it like to breathe so heavily, as if drugged, while rubbing up against strange leather coats in alleyways?  I can’t remember.

Once you get started it’s fun.  So much free space opens up.


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