Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In Which Literature Goes to the Dogs and Other Animals. . .

I just finished reading the manuscript of Andrew O'Hagan's delightful new novel The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe - it'll be published in Canada in the fall, and will definitely be one of my Dewey picks. Yes, the book is narrated by a dog (but he's a very intelligent, philosophically observant one, not cutesy at all) and I usually stay far away from this type of book. But as Jessica Grant's equally funny Come, Thou Tortoise has taught me, I shouldn't be pre-judging talking animals until I hear what they have to say. And as O'Hagan outlines here in an interesting essay for The Guardian, there's a long and rich history of animal narrators in literature. He also explains why the novel opens in Charleston, the famous home of Bloomsbury painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant (another reason I find this book so intriguing).

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