10 August 2007

'the best thing' by Margo Lanagan

First Impressions
'the best thing' by Margo Lanagan was a very interesting read. About half way through I nearly abandoned it, finding it mundane and sad and too real to be readable. I'm glad I hung in there.
I loved the way Margo Lanagan describes the passage of pregnancy and childbirth and the early days of mothering. Her protagonist is a young woman, yet I found it a description that closely resembled the feelings I had when I was a slightly older young mother.
Margo Lanagan's Writing
I discussed Margo Lanagan's writing today with a colleague and we both agreed it wasn't always easy to read, not that it was difficult to understand, it was emotionally confronting. I always find her writing rewarding though precisely because it is confronting.
Short Story vs Novel
When I started the novel, I wondered if I didn't prefer Lanagan's writing in short story form as I had loved the three anthologies of short stories I had read 'Red Spikes', 'Black Juice' and 'White Time'. At the conclusion of this novel, I find that I love her writing in both forms. She cuts to the heart of what's really important and describes it beautifully. It is truly a vibrant and triumphant tale that is gutsy in it's subject choice as well as the depth it delves into.

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