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Pickle Me This

July 14, 2006

Mountain Top

It has been a week of high points. Because after twelve and a half months and a whole lot of trouble, my husband received his visa, and is therefore eligible to work in Canada. It’s just a temporary work permit until his permanent residency is completed (which might take another year) and he still can’t leave the country, but we won’t quibble. He is now looking for a job.

I was a bit disappointed with the anthology The Friend Who Got Away, but perhaps my problem is more with anthologies in general than this specific book. The high points first- there are a few absolutely wonderful essays here, writing by Katie Roiphe and Ann Hood was particularly good. A few essays made me extraordinarily uncomfortable, but perhaps they were supposed to. But in all, this book did not meet my expectations. I think the problem with a book such as this is that writers respond to the topic, rather than the topic responding to the writing, and consequently, some of the stories seemed forced. There is the problem, as in all anthologies of late (and anthologies are very much of late), of how boring it is to listen to privileged women whine. Further, each piece is so liminal, so brief. Perhaps each of these stories could be a book in itself, but as an essay, they seem to skim a surface; like an “It Happened To Me” section of a women’s magazine. I just didn’t feel like this book taught me anything, and didn’t really give me much to empathize with either.

2 thoughts on “Mountain Top”

  1. Crissy Calhoun says:

    oh kerry, you’ve read my mind. i’m reading Dropped Threads v.3 for a book club & it’s exactly the same. Forced stories, nothing to empathize with. But LOTS of privileged women whining… hahah. Congrats to your husband.

  2. Kerry says:

    I am sorry to hear that. Though I suspect Dropped Threads mightn’t be as bad, due to the wide range of subject matter. I might be wrong. It’s only out of respect to the memory of Carol Shields that I hope I’m not. Good luck trudging through.

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