Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Monday, 31 July 2000

"The Shipping News", E. Annie Proulx (Fourth Estate, 1995)

Each chapter is headed by sketch and description of a knot which is later alluded to. At times, the thoughts of the main character (a journalist) are presented in a headlinesque sentence. Sudden flights of imagery ("features as bunched as kissed fingers") and detail punctuate a storyteller's narrative. The text seemed to avoid describing the moments of character change - the main character's physical and emotional awkwardness are initially highlighted but just seem to fade away unobserved by others. But where there are observers, the writing is pared and telling - though perhaps too understated during (and looking back on) crises like the main character's shipwreck.

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