Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Nisi Shawl reviews Sarah Hall's Tiptree-winner Daughters of the North for Ms. Magazine, in Grimness and Grace. Here Nisi suggests that Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents might offer a closer parallel to the novel than the dystopias of George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, and Ursula K. Le Guin that the book's publicists have emphasized. And she speculates:
Perhaps the publicists don’t compare Hall to Butler because of racial differences; Butler was African American, and Hall is not. Yet Daughters, unlike many works of speculative fiction by white writers, refuses to let race remain the unmentionable elephant in the living room.
Meanwhile, Brian Charles Clark reviews Nisi's Filter House for Curled Up With A Good Book.
The real, here, is animated, alive, and Shawl's sentences weave a rhythm that gives voice to (secret?) desires: for divine intervention, for allies and challengers in rocks and trees and dragons, for love and imagination to be made simple, practical and transcendental. Her stories' trajectories are wonderfully entertaining, but her sentences are magical. Through dialogue and observation, Shawl frequently pierces the veil separating reader and writer, bringing her characters delightfully to life.
Check them out!