Thursday, May 9, 2013

An Author a Day for Thirty Days: Day 9

Dang it! Gianna keeps stealing my authors. Last night I actually dreamed that about this author pickin' month. Here's the text conversation:

This whole thing is Gianna's fault, as she took a simple favor last night--I was driving and asked her to fill in for my blog piece--and rubbed in that she was posting about Mary Gaitskill before I could. She's obnoxious. Do you understand how much I suffer?

Fine. Bring it.

Today I'm picking Pat Barker. I have no idea how we haven't written about Pat Barker in the past. Here's why you should read Pat Barker:

  1. She's a Booker Prize winner.
  2. Even though she's a major prize winner and she deals with mature themes (mature as in serious, not necessarily naughty), she writes accessibly.
  3. No one writes historical fiction about World War I as well as Pat Barker.

Pat Barker is best known for her Regeneration trilogy. I realize that I am falling into a stereotype by writing this, but normally people don't associate war novels with women writers. Why is that? I'm sure that I'm not the only person who assumed Pat was a man at first, and then I spent a long moment adjusting my assumptions. Why can't a woman write about war? And why aren't more women writing about war? Or are they, and I'm unjustly ignoring them? Pat Barker proves it's possible.

If you're looking for a place to start, I recommend Life Class. Set during the period leading up to World War I that Downton Abbey has made so popular, this novel follows a group of art students in London and then when war breaks out, one couple's experiences as one of them, Paul, becomes a Red Cross volunteer at the front. Toby's Room, Pat Barker's latest novel, is linked to Life Class (they share settings and characters) and is about a brother and sister and their complicated relationship as she studies at the art school and he studies to become a doctor. If you appreciate strong characters, complex emotional development, subtly brilliant writing, why are you visiting this blog? Also, you should read Pat Barker.

1 comment:

  1. Pat Barker is one of my favourite all-time authors. :) SD