Saturday, December 5, 2020

Eight fictional housewives who have snapped (in a fun way)

Katie Yee is a Brooklyn-based writer and the Book Marks associate editor at Lit Hub. If you follow @bookmarksreads on Instagram, you'll see lots of photos of her rescue dog, Oliver.

At Lit Hub she tagged eight novels featuring women who have had enough. One title on the list:
The Ohio housewife of Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport

Ducks, Newburyport—the dark horse shortlisted for last year’s Booker Prize—is almost one thousand (1,000!) pages full of one woman’s stream of consciousness. I mean, it’s every fleeting thought that crosses her mind in an unstoppable torrent that’s basically one long, winding sentence. We see her concerns about the state of the country, her ongoing pangs of grief about her parents, her love for her husband, her to-do list for preparing dinner, her fears regarding her children. It’s a small joy to swing from thought to thought with her, to try to understand the leaps she makes. What’s more alarming: watching her police her own thoughts. It’s a fascinating social critique, the way she skitters away from certain subjects, even in her own mind. Does this sound confusing? Rest assured: Lucy Ellmann has a steady hand, masterfully guiding you through the rabbit hole without you even noticing. The genius here is in her ability to make us recall something from pages and pages ago; her phrasing is so precise that when she briefly references something, the reader knows immediately what she’s talking about. It makes you feel like you really are swimming in her subconscious, and really, what’s more maddening than being surrounded by someone’s inner-most thoughts that way?
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue