The narrative of Kaysen’s memoir is much less linear than that of the film – the story is told in an episodic manner, as well as including copies of medical records and bits of other things like song lyrics. At times, I found it a bit hard to follow since I had to “place” episodes in relation to other bits of the narrative, but ultimately it worked out.
I grew up too late to be aware of the Riot Grrrl phenomenon – I was only 10 years old in 1995, and was also located in a small Canadian town, where feminist political movements weren’t exactly center-stage. In fact, I hadn’t heard about Riot Grrrl until this book came up in a publisher’s email. It looked interesting, though, and I went for it hoping that I would get a bit more knowledge about feminist history in the process.
This month was a bit crazy in terms of my “real life”, but blogging was rather calmer. I finished off my teaching placement in the first two weeks of November, and then the person whose maternity leave I was covering returned. Right the next morning, I was on a flight out to Vancouver to visit with my partner, who moved out there for work back in September! I had a really hard time deciding what books to bring with me, but ended up with this assortment of reading material for the trip. While I was in Vancouver, I read a lot less than I normally would, but I also got some much-needed relaxation and time with Zaid. I tried my best to be “good” and stop myself from buying too many books, but I couldn’t help drooling over MacLeod’s Books down the street. One night, we walked past a hobbit house – sadly, the picture isn’t great since it was in the dark, but you can still tell how cute it must be during the day! And, during the week, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and was really distraught that I wouldn’t be able to find out what happened…
Right from the beginning, I really started to feel for the narrator of the story, who shares the name of the book – Libertad. You could tell that he was really hurting – he lived with his mother and his little brother in the city dump in Guatemala, but before that, they had been driven from their village by soldiers, shortly after their father went away to go to the United States. It was just so much to befall one young man, never mind the whole family – your heart just ached for them when you read the details of their existence in the dump.
This book is so intricate that the cover copy really doesn’t do it justice.
The Lonely Polygamist is alternately narrated by a variety of characters – Golden, Trish (his fourth wife), Rusty (one of his sons), and sometimes from an omniscient-style narrator. The latter is used mainly when filling in details from the past or – sometimes – when describing events where something important is about to happen, but multiple characters are involved.