Saturday, January 28, 2012

Days of Love...and Lack Thereof, Day 3


Rita Mae Brown
This one goes out to the ladies. More specifically to the ladies who love ladies. Even more specifically to the ladies who love ladies who love to read about ladies loving ladies. Actually... dudes may like this as well. 
Oh Rita Mae Rita you saved my sixteen year old ass with this book. Rubyfruit Jungle was Rita Mae Brown's "It Gets Better" message to me. Molly Bolt is adopted by a poor southern couple who aren't so keen on their unapologetic, smart ass, athletic daughter who also beats up boys. In high school, Molly dated a hot cheerleader and then was thrown out of college for terrible morals (oh but man oh man what a way to get kicked out). Molly eventually  moves to New York and you know how it gets better. She dates many lovely ladies, pursues a film career and meets other 'mos along the way. Yeah, it go a lot better. Oh, and she never becomes a Yankees fan so this novel is safe to read.

Great gift for your obviously gay daughter. Just give in, Ellen is making everyone gay and there is nothing you can do about it. 


One of my all-time favorite writers is Joyce Carol Oates, and one of my all-time favorite books from the prolific Ms. Oates is We Were the Mulvaneys.  Oates is known for exposing the American dream and its shortcomings, often violently.  She is a dark writer, but she also writes with great emotion.  Many of her books are contemporary masterpieces, most are also entertaining, and if there were any justice she'd win a Nobel Prize for her many contributions to the American literary canon. But let's talk about the Mulvaneys.

Joyce Carol Oates
We Were the Mulvaneys actually starts with the All-American family--loving parents and three kids living on a bucolic farm as the kids attend high school, the boys playing football or graduating as valedictorian, and the daughter, Marianne, becoming a popular cheerleader.  They are a family who love each other, would do anything for each other.  And then, on prom night, Marianne is assaulted.

The novel is narrated by the adult youngest child, Judd, as he tries to piece together how his loving family disintegrated into lonely, lost souls.  Marianne is sent away because her father can't overcome the horror of what happened to her.  She takes her beloved cat, her only companion from the life she used to live.  Throughout, she longs for the family she once knew even as she manages to find a sort of peace and resolution.  The farm is gone, the Mulvaneys scattered, but once, once they were a family.

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