02.17.2011

Lavinia

There is something you should know before I tell you about this book. I have the sophistication of a 9 year old boy when it comes to poetry. I’m more of a Shel Silverstein kind of girl than someone who reads Beowulf. That being said, I’ve never read Virgil’s The Aeneid, which is the source material for Ursula LeGuin’s Lavinia. I now feel like I should read it, but I probably won’t ’cause I’m just not all that fond of poetry, especially epic poetry.

However, this book? I’m very fond of it and I knew it was gonna happen. For just a few reasons:

1) LeGuin is a master storyteller. Read her stuff. It is all very surreal with sharp bit of detail that make you feel as if you’re in a waking dream. It makes me shivery to think about it. I have never said this about another author, but if I were to write books, I’d want to carry it off with her panache.

2) Strong female lead. Ok, so this is another LeGuin mark, but it’s still freakin’ fabulous. Lavinia is complex because she embodies meekness and power in turns, but she is never a victim of circumstances. She walks into her fate with grace and courage.

3) Now, this will sound a bit weird, but stick with me for a second or two. LeGuin writes the sexes as different from each other and I like it. A number of authors will write strong female leads, but ignore the differences that early education, lifelong roles and our own bodies dictate about the ways we approach problems.

I’ll stop here before I descend into fangirlish squeals, but this Lavinia rocks!

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