Thursday, October 2, 2008

Out of the Blue

Through the globe-spanning magic of the blogosphere, my Margaret Evans Huntington Club paper, "Out-of-Body Experiences," has reached New Zealand novelist Mary McCallum, who discusses it on her blog O Audacious Book.

McCallum writes: "Rob Hardy's paper echoes [Mister Pip author] Lloyd Jones' belief that novels aren't about escape from life but about learning how to live in this world..." And she concludes: "It's another whole discussion as to why writing that is deeply domestic doesn't figure much on the literature geiger counter, but good on Rob Hardy for letting it figure on his, and encouraging others to do the same."

Another New Zealand novelist, Rachael King (author of The Sound of Butterflies) has also blogged about the scarcity of men who read novels by women—or, in fact, any novels at all. In the comments section, someone posted a link to Esquire's list of "The 75 Books Every Man Should Read" (caution: in an irritating slideshow format, with advertisements liberally interspersed). The list includes only one novel by a woman, Flannery O'Connor's collection of stories, A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Mary McCallum is the author of the novel The Blue, published in New Zealand in 2007. I hope her novel will eventually become available here in America.

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