This is actually a photo!-- it's completely gorgeous.

This is actually a photo!-- it's completely gorgeous.

One of my favorite authors is Laurie Halse Anderson… I have loved her writing immoderately since Speak came out ten years ago. Yesterday, her newest novel, Wintergirls, hit stores, and a bright, shiny, pre-ordered copy was in my mailbox when I got home from work.

I blew off the rest of the day to start reading it since I just couldn’t wait– I think I’ve been hoping Anderson would take on the close-to-home subject of anorexia/eating disorders, and now she’s finally done it.  Plus, she did it while winding this subtle thread of Greek mythology through the story, which I loved (I was the uber-nerd in highschool; I not only took Latin, I was in Latin Club; I went to Latin Club Conventions and won prizes for knowing lots of nerdy Latin stuff.  True story).

If you don’t know mythology, you won’t be missing anything critical from the story– the fairy tale/myth references will simply read like beautiful imagery (I hate it when I feel like I have to go look something up in order to understand a novel for god’s sake; here, even if you don’t make all the connections, the images will give you the same emotional information about the main character, Lia.  It’s really skillfully done).

Gah! Anderson’s writing is just so incisive and evocative and clean–the amount of meaning she can pack into an economical sentence is incredible. It has the effect of poetry but only requires the concentration of prose. And she manages the kind of unflinching empathy I hope to be able to achieve someday in one of my projects…

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4 responses »

  1. karirockjuice says:

    I was in the Spanish Club in high school! Love that you were in Latin Club. Love it. Love it. Love it. And might I add that you’re blog entries are so enlightening! What a great addition 😉

  2. kirsey says:

    Salve!!! I was in Latin Club too! And it was actually COOL! I only did it for one year, but my now husband was in it for 4 years, so we are all huge dorks together! LOVE IT! Also, can’t wait to read this book, never heard of the author so I am intrigued.

    PS, couldn’t agree with Kari more, you are and EXCELLENT Rockjuice addition, keep it coming!

  3. ebats says:

    aww, thanks girls! I’ll do my best to keep the unhinged entertainment coming 😉

    dude! foreign language club was so much fun… I wish my school had thought it was cool. I used to love getting dressed up for stuff in a stola made out of my mother’s good table cloths.

    though, honestly, I was always a little jealous of the Spanish club kids because their meetings involved really awesome Spanish/Mexican food. Latin club…not so much. I mean… we tried once and looked up some stuff about ancient Roman banquets, but the recipes were for shit like “stuffed doormice in honey” and garum (uhhh…fermented fish guts) and stuff we couldn’t bring to school, like wine. I think we ended up eating a lot of pita bread and olives.

  4. […] 23, 2009 by ebats Laurie Halse Anderson, a writer I admire immensely and have talked about here, just posted a note her site about how two of her books are currently under consideration to be […]

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