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Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce
Orlando - Maria DiBattista, Mark Hussey I absolutely adored this book. The style is definitely different from the other Woolf books I've read so far. What stood out for me was the beautiful use of the language, maybe more than the story. The novel had an almost fairytale-like feel to it, and I was definitely enchanted from the start.

I don't think the following is a spoiler as it is included in the book's blurb : this book is about a 16 year old boy, Orlando, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, who one day wakes up to find that he has become a woman! The investigation of gender following Orlando’s metamorphosis is especially amazing as now it is widely accepted that gender is a societal construct. I really feel Woolf was way ahead of her time.

The book was written in an experimental biographical style, and the biographer threw in a lot of humour and wit that caused me to burst out laughing more than once. It is also satirical which I loved, especially the part where Orlando shows her calf to a sailor, who almost falls to his death!Also, the challenges and insight of writing a biography are included, things I had never really considered previously.

The book was so surreal at times especially as it wasn’t restricted by either gender or time. I feel that, as straight-forward as the story is to read, there are so many issues incorporated that I think there are also as many different approaches for reading this book.

Now I'm in the mood for more Woolf and I think a re-read of Mrs. Dalloway is in order.