The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Remember how Margaret Atwood and I are besties? Remember how we totally enjoyed a cocktail together at the Rare Book Room in Strand Bookstore? Remember how I got my copy of The Blind Assassin signed by Her Majesty?
Now that I've gotten the entirely exaggerated bragging out of the way...
There is a reason this book was an international bestseller and winner of The Booker Prize (look guys! I can read too!) This is the tale of the utter destruction of a family told through first person narrative, memories of a relationship, passages from a science fiction story and various articles. Iris' point-of-view is unusual as she seems partially removed from her childhood, marriage, relationships... her entire life. You would expect for that to, in turn, remove the reader from the story, but instead the ambiguity leaves room to read your own experiences into the tales of Iris and Laura Chase.
And I managed not to get pizza sauce on my signed copy! So I'd call this reading a success!
And never forget!
The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin," "it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist. Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact.