I made it through The Real Lolita: the Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman and Elegy by Larry Lewis while I was away in Florida for Canadian Thanksgiving. I absolutely blasted through Lolita—it was fascinating to watch Weinman’s moves in dissecting a theory that few other scholars had looked into or even believed. She tore down the wall that Nabokov was too great of a writer to be brought down to the level of following a real criminal history to create what turned out to be a masterwork. More than that, it was pleasing to see the writing process of a man so highly revered genuinely criticised for his faults and pitfalls. I am also glad that Weinman called a spade a spade when it came to the truth of his poor performance as a teacher.
One of my profs, Emilia, lent me her copy of Elegy so I could learn from Lewis’ longer individual structures and the sustained thematics of the whole collection. Lewis—and Ada Limón’s Bright Dead Things—also both handle numerous poems with horses, which is what led Emilia to recommend Elegy in the first place.
Last night I finished Vi by Kim Thúy, but I didn’t think to take of picture of it while it was in hand. This is what the cover of the second (?) printing looks like:
It had a really interesting format that didn’t so much read as a diary but emphasised the privacy of the narrator’s thoughts and delicacy of her voice. Thúy handled a piece of Canadian-Vietnamese history that I admit I’m pretty ignorant of. I had a difficult time placing the story’s chronology, but that’s me as a reader and not a fault of the text. The challenges faced by mother and daughter—of their own creation and from outside sources—and the expectations of what they each desired of the other were the strongest through line. Vi is a vital and new piece of Canada’s shifting and complicated identity landscape.