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Pickle Me This

March 19, 2012

It's time to reread The Children's Book

Harriet was scheduled to born on a Tuesday, and the Friday before, late in the evening, a copy of AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book turned up at my door. I spent my last days without her, my last days alone, scrambling to get this book read because I’d been waiting for it for so long already, and it was so massive I knew I’d never get to it after the baby’s birth due to matters of weight and time. I finished reading it on Monday at 5:00, and don’t remember so much of the book itself save for the scramble, a fantastic race to the finish, which was wholly symbolic of life at the time (with no imagining of what would come after). So I’ve been intending to reread it ever since, an intimidating prospect because it’s still a hulking book, but so much of my reading lately– Joan Bodger, Arcadia, Among Others— has been gesturing toward it, so it’s time now. I’m excited. Because I’ve no idea what it is to read The Children’s Book when one isn’t scheduled to give birth on Tuesday. To read this book now as a mother myself, and with such a richer appreciation of children’s stories than when I encountered this the first time. Not quite three years ago, but how it seems a whole other lifetime.

One thought on “It's time to reread The Children's Book”

  1. Nathalie says:

    One of our nightly traditions now, with the littlest ones, is a Tom’s Shadow Story, inspired by the stories in Byatt’s book.

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