Saturday, August 8, 2020

Seven books about coming of age in a small town

Frances Macken is from Claremorris, County Mayo, Ireland.

She completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, and also studied film production at the National Film School, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.

Macken likes mysteries, twists in the tale, the supernatural, and the unexplained. She especially enjoys developing characters and creating fictional worlds. Her writing is creepy, humorous and experimental. You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here is her first novel of literary fiction.

Macken currently lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books about the adventures and the heartbreaks of becoming an adult, including:
Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

Lives of Girls and Women by Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro was first published in 1971. The novel comprises short stories chronicling the life of Del Jordan, a girl growing up in small-town Jubilee, Ontario in the 1940s. Del learns about womanhood from the women she observes in her surroundings, including her mother Addie (with whom she has a strained relationship), various female relatives, and her mother’s boarder Fern. Several feminist themes are explored, including female self-actualization, the relationships between mothers and daughters, and women’s role in society. Del’s formative love relationships also feature, though male characters are only lightly drawn.

Having always felt like an outsider, dissatisfied with small town life and continually seeking meaning, Del will leave Jubilee behind in order to further her own development. The novel is considered to contain several autobiographical elements from Munro’s own life; at the very least, the author grew up in a small town in Ontario, and became a writer, as her lead character Del intends to.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Lives of Girls and Women is among four books that changed Libby Gleeson.

--Marshal Zeringue