January 14, 2010

Theme Thursday - "Surfacing"


"I can't believe I'm on this road again." My sentiments exactly. Lately, when I’m heading up to my folks place on the four-lane black-top, sometimes clear, sometimes centre-bare, depending on the weather I can’t believe it either. Wasn’t I just here?


For the unnamed narrator in Margaret Atwood’s 1972 novel Surfacing, it’s a different matter – she didn’t expect to be returning ever again.


Surfacing is written from the point of view of a young woman who travels with her boyfriend and another young couple to a remote island on a lake in Northern Quebec. She spent much of her childhood there and now she’s there ostensibly looking for her missing father.


While revisiting her childhood house she comes face to face with her past. Recalling past events and emotions while trying to piece together her father’s disappearance, she finds herself sinking into a "Lost Weekend". Her history overtakes her, driving her mad and forcing her to go walkabout. She becomes “undone.”


Flooded with her memories and grief for an unborn child, the “surfacer" realizes that going home means entering another time, and she needs to come up for air. Funny, it’s never been that bad for me.

I read Surfacing years ago and I have to say it didn’t resonate with me like The Yellow Wallpaper, a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 80 years before Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing. But that will have to wait for another time.

For other Theme Thursday contributors please clink here. http://themethursday.blogspot.com/2010/01/thursday-january-14-2010-surface.html

21 comments:

Brian Miller said...

have you ever read anything else by her. someone recently suggested her name to me...just wondering?

The Clever Pup said...

Hi Brian, yes I have.

The Handmaid's Tale
Cat's Eye
Alias Grace
The Robber Bride and the Blind Assassin. She's a good writer. but she's always on Canadian TV. She unfortunateley drones so that's all I can hear when I read her.

willow said...

I loved her "Morning in the Burned House", a collection of new poems, so much I had to buy myself a copy. I've not read any of her fiction.

Poetikat said...

Coincidentally, I was thinking about this book. We had a paperback copy at our house (I can still picture the cover) and I never read it. I think my dad bought it, started it and didn't like it and I wasn't inclined to give it a go. I might now though.

I have read the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story and IT is a fine piece of work. I may need to find it somewhere and have another read.

I'm reading, "Canoe Lake" by Roy MacGregor. It's a fictionalized telling of the mystery of the death of Tom Thomson. If I get it finished I may review it next Wednesday.

Kate Hanley said...

I've never read anything by her but I keep meaning to. Surfacing sounds interesting as does her Handmaid's Tale and The Robber Bride

Giulia said...

She's also a great poet.

I'm sorry that she drones on Canadian TV...we're lucky then down here that we don't see that...good chance she'd win the Nobel some day.

cheers

subby said...

I'm puting this down on my "to read list", as it does sound like an interesting read...and Happy Theme Thursday :)

The Mistress said...

Oh, the ending of The Yellow Wallpaper, always sends chills up my spine! I should dust that one off this afternoon...

Wings said...

Never heard of that tale before, very interesting.

JeffScape said...

I've not read Surfacing, but am very familiar with "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Should I read the book?

Betsy said...

sounds like a good read...and perfect for the theme!

Rebecca said...

I haven't heard of this book but it sounds interesting...However, the synopsis does sound a bit familiar so I may have read something about it at one time or another. Love the mermaid image...

Skip Simpson said...

Definitely gonna put that on my "must read list."

otin said...

That sounds like an awesome plot! I don't read a lot, but I should start!

rxBambi said...

I love atwood. she's a bit bizarre,but I like her nonetheless.
I'll have to check out both her book and the yellow wallpaper.

thanks for coming by and commenting

Lizzie said...

Yes, she is a great writer. I had forgotten about her until I came here. Thanks for the reminder.

Bernadette Joolen, Beautiful Dreamer... said...

Ah, now i know where to come for a good book! (I loved her Handmaid's Tale.) I saw a cool one-woman show of The Yellow Wallpaper in Seattle once several years ago. Wish I had MORE time to read!!!~~bernadette...

Mmm said...

I've not read this either but wondered what it was about. Sounds lieka avery moving novel. I'd like to read it sometime.. or at least see the mvie, if there is one!

Mrsupole said...

I have never read this story, but it does sound like an interesting read. Maybe when I get through all the books that are here waiting for me to read, then I will look for this book.

I have found that the more time I spend reading things on the computer then the less time I have for reading books. I sometimes wonder which is the better one to do. But having read so many books in my life, I think that for now I will just mostly continue reading things on the computer. But then again, nothing beats the smell and feel of books. Sigh...

Happy TT, thanks for the book review.

God bless.

The Clever Pup said...

I agree with you all. I spend too much time on the computer and not enough time reading. I think I'm gonna curl up with the latest John Irving and read it cover to cover this weekend.

lettuce said...

I enjoyed this one more second time around than I did at first. I love pretty much all her other stuff that I've read, though want to read more of her poetry...