May 21, 2009
You must read The Girls Who Saw Everything by Sean Dixon
I like this picture, because my enormousness gets lost in shadow. You also get the blue sky, sunshine, leaves on the trees, that I’ve picked up a little bit of colour (really– this is an improvement), and that I’ve had my nose in a book all day. Or at least for most of the day, when I wasn’t napping, swimming, being visited by a wee delightful baby and her as delightful mother (who came bearing scones), making more strawberry sorbet and eating the first bbq pizza of the season. Obviously, it has been a really wonderful day.
But that book I’ve had my nose buried in has really been one of the very best parts of the day. Said book is The Girls Who Saw Everything by Sean Dixon, which I’m not going to review because I read it for fun and it’s two years old, but you can read great reviews at That Shakespearian Rag and Baby Got Books. (Outside of Canada, the book is called The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal, which I bet is not as well designed as my Coach House edition, though it just might be.) Also check out Sean Dixon’s blog related to the book, and I know you’ll be intrigued.
The whole thing is brilliant. It’s a book that is accessible and complex, hilarious and poignant, serious and light, important and whimsical, and brimming with bookishness for the love of bookishness, and inside jokes and outside jokes, and all the very best things about literature. A completely original story, startling in its specificity, and yet the implications stretch wide. I adored this novel about “a whole bunch of girls and… an intense little book club.” And moreover, if I may say, I love that it was written by a man. Not enough books about a whole bunch of girls are. Reading about The Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Women’s Book Club was ever-surprising, ever-satisfying. And perfect for a just-as-perfect Thursday.
UPDATE: Largehearted Boy features The Official Lacuna Cabal Playlist: “In the interest of satire, however, Emmy might choose, for Missy, “Common People” by Pulp, adding with a cocked eyebrow that the character played by Sadie Frost in the video reminds her of Donna Tartt’s slutty sister, so there’s a bookish dimension to the choice.”