Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Past Reads (Catching Up!)

I'm embarrassed to admit that the only Orange Prize books that I had read prior to joining this project were Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin and Zadie Smith's White Teeth. I also admit that the following is pretty thin, since it has been years since I have read either one, but wanted to get them posted for completeness...

What I remember about The Blind Assassin which I read years ago, is that I loved it despite reading it while I had a raging fever staying in a hostel while trying to attend a group therapy conference in Philly one year. I honestly don't remember at this point even what the book was about, except for a pair of scenes in my head, one involving a country house and one of the dark apartment where a woman meets her blind assassin lover. What I do know is that when read it, it instantly turned me into an Atwood devotee. I thought it was a brilliant and fascinating book. Reading Goodreads reviews of the book makes me feel better about having only a lasting impression rather than a memory for plot. Sounds like the plot itself is book within a book and the story of two sisters (in the house I am picturing) trapped in a society that did not appreciate their potential as women. I remember thinking it absolutely deserved the Booker Prize it won, which was what led me to it in the first place.

White Teeth was one of many amazing books that I listened to during my commute to the college where I taught in suburban Atlanta back in the years between 1996 and 2005. I remember loving this one as well. It was a wild tale of immigrants in England, told with emotion and humor throughout. Again, because it has been years, I haven't got the clearest memory of the book, but remember enjoying every minute of listening to this over-the-top tale!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I haven't read many Orange Prize books either but I did read White Teeth and The Blind Assassin befor I was even aware of the ZOrnage Prize. I thought White Teeth was a fantastic book. Zadie Smith wrote so well and with emotion and humore as you said and wonderful characters. I plan to read this one again!
The Blind Assassin was also great, so creative and unique. I had to focus on this one lest I get confused so I am very impressed that you were able to read it while you had a raging fever!

I have also read Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and most recently, Molly Fox's Birthday by Deidre Madden. I enjoyed all of them, too. The Orange Prize judges know their books!