Hardcover, 208 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2018 by Hamish Hamilton
These days reading is difficult. Sinking into fictional worlds has become more difficult than it used to be because the real world is so nightmarish it follows me into the fictional one. Deborah Levy’s The Cost of Living came my way precisely at the time I most needed it to.
Being a woman in a patriarchal world is difficult. Society expects you to fit into the narrow definition of what constitutes a woman and should your curves spill out, people will judge you and find names for you. Levy’s observations about how when women become wives their names are erased hit me quiet hard. She also relates circumstances when a woman’s narrative is dismissed or swept aside for the more asinine monologue belonging to a man, any man, who thinks his experiences trump a woman’s.
The phantom of femininity is an illusion, a delusion, a societal hallucination. She is a very trickly character to play and it is a role (sacrifice, endurance, cheerful suffering) that has made some women go mad.
Are we ever done becoming ourselves? Like Levy, whose marriage breaks up when she is 50 and she is no longer the person she spent so many years becoming, we, too, hit unexpected obstacles in our becoming. Our lives shape us much more than we shape our lives.
The Cost of Living
meanders on topics such as divorce, love, femininity and feminism, motherhood, death, grief, writing, and living in a gentle and introspective manner. Reading Levy’s thoughts is akin to talking to a close friend about life and living. It is tumultuous and at the same time not. I enjoyed it and will be returning to The Cost of Living
time and again to remind myself that living is difficult but I want to do it anyway. Recommended.
Hardcover, 160 pages Published March 13th 2018 by Doubleday Canada Source: Publisher Nobody wants to know why Indian women leave or where they go. Our bodies walk across highways from dances of our youth into missing narratives with strobe lights or sweet drinks in our small purses, or the talk of leaving. The truth of our […]
Award-winning First Nations author Larry Loyie shares the drama of his childhood during the Second World War years. As a young Cree boy, Lawrence struggles to grow up while wrestling with the meaning of war. When army runaways threaten his family, he must call on his skills and the teachings of hie elders to keep […]
My name is Olemaun Pokiak — that’s OO-lee-mawn — but some of my classmates used to call me “Fatty Legs.” They called me that because a wicked nun forced me to wear a pair of red stockings that made my legs look enormous. But I put an end to it. How? Well, I am going […]
Hardcover, 272 pages Published September 6th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers Source: Raincoast Books Lois Lowry is the writer of many many books (Goodreads lists her backlist count as 88) and is known particularly for The Giver series. (We have written about it often enough.) This volume was first published in 1998 but has since […]
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a […]
Paperback, 144 pages Published December 1st 2015 by Tuttle Publishing Source: Publisher Florent Chavouet, in case you haven’t heard of him before, is a French artist mostly known for his wonderful travel graphic memoir Tokyo on Foot. His art style is approachable and friendly and he has an eye for detail that is translated in the pictures […]
Growing up on the Aegean Coast, Ozge loved the sea and imagined a life of adventure while her parents and society demanded predictability. Her dad expected Ozge, like her sister, to become an engineer. She tried to hear her own voice over his and the religious and militaristic tensions of Turkey and the conflicts between […]
Hardcover, 288 pages Published May 19th 2015 by Chronicle Books Source: Raincoast Books Nafiza: It is a curious experience to read Elena Vanishing after reading Hope and Other Luxuries. A few years ago, I returned to Fiji after a decade and when perusing the city, the buildings, the sugarcane fields, I felt as if I […]
Hardcover, 560 pages Expected publication: May 19th 2015 by Chronicle Books Source: Raincoast Books Janet and I received review copies of this book from Raincoast Books and as this is a rather heavy book in terms of the themes it tackles and the experiences it narrates, we decided to buddy-read it. And since we were […]