Another New Year’s Resolution
In contrast to my last post about two novels featuring teenage boy protagonists, I thought it would be good to start the year with some girl power. Alyssa Brugman’s Solo is an interesting complement to both Perks of being a wallflower and Looking for Alaska. Mackenzie, the teenage girl protagonist, has a lot to feel troubled about and how she comes to terms with her dark and stormy past, how we learn to sift the truth and fictions of our childhood, is at the heart of this novel. I always enjoy Brugman’s writing. Her books read like an intimate conversation with a complex, maddening, teenage girl.
Brigid Lowry’s Tomorrow, all will be beautiful is a very different type of reading experience. I felt a bit like I was standing in front of a pantry crammed full of treats, trying to decide which to eat first. Lowry’s writerly voice is warm and loving and the collection of stories, poems and reflections in Tomorrow works well as both comfort food and a tasty treat between heavier works of fiction. I spent much of December dipping into the covers of this collection between reading weighty tomes of Australian history and freaky predictions of futuristic dystopias.
I’m hoping 2008 will be a big year of writing for me. I probably won’t have any new books out until late in the year, if not early 2009, but the more I read, the more I’ve come to understand writing is about process, not product. Sometimes enjoying the process of writing can be a bit like trying to unravel a very tangled knot of stories. Perhaps the trick is to realise that good readers and good writers require patience, curiosity and persistence. Happy New Year and Happy Reading for 2008!