Tagged with adoptees
Fannie Flagg novels always go down easy and are southern charming as all get-out. All-Girl centers on a 60-year-old woman who finds out she's not southern, at least not in the southern way of knowing who your people are a few generations back. It's also about Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Unless you're a real crankypants, you should be moved by protagonist Sookie Poole's evolution, the WASPs accomplishments, or both. I sniffled quite a bit reading about the titular event while riding a New Jersey transit train home from Jewish Christmas.
A three-years-orphaned college professor loses her husband and daughter in a car accident, finds out she was adopted and goes off to find her roots. I don't want to give anything away, but I should warn you, everything in this novel takes forever. And if you're sensitive to misspellings and typos, stop being petty, but in case you can't, brace yourself. (What's up with the lax proofreading Indiana University Press?)
So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn't be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language -- and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers -- a language powerful enough to say how it is.
The librarian was explaining the benefits of the Dewey decimal system to her junior -- benefits that extended to every area of life. It was orderly, like the universe. It had logic. It was dependable. Using it allowed a kind of moral uplift, as one's own chaos was also brought under control.
'Whenever I am troubled,' said the librarian, 'I think about the Dewey decimal system.'
'The what happens?' asked the junior, rather overawed.
'Then I understand that trouble is just something that has been filed in the wrong place. That is what Jung was explaining of course -- as the chaos of our unconscious contents strive to find their rightful place in the index of the unconsciousness.'
"The one good thing about being shut in a coal-hole is that it prompts reflection." So yeah, Jeanette Winterson had a rough childhood, but somehow managed to keep her optimism and sense of humor. Why Be Happy reminds me of Are You My Mother?, but without comics and run through a Joan Didion filter.