Friday, May 27, 2005

So yesterday I was reading about the controversy over the Litblog Co-op pick and how some people feel Case Histories (which I read a while back and enjoyed) didn't fit their stated mission. One person mentioned the awards Kate Atkinson had won and that she'd been reviewed by major publications and had lots of critical acclaim and thus wasn't the obscure author in need of help they imagined benefiting from the push of the LBC. While I was a little disappointed in their pick (mostly because I'd already read it) I don't agree that awards and acclaim necessarily guarantee success or recognition. It all reminded me of Sean Stewart (I know, I know - what doesn't, right?) and how he's won awards and been critically acclaimed and reviewed by major publications and yet his entire backlist is out of print. And how I never saw Perfect Circle at Borders or Barnes & Noble. And yet how every single person who read it on my recommendation absolutely loved it.

I was feeling so bummed for Sean that I went right home and read Perfect Circle again. I loved it even more this time and noticed things I hadn't before. Like how in a flashback toward the beginning DK can only interact with AJ through her reflection because he feels too guilty to look at her directly and how this nicely and subtly sets up his future interactions with her ghost. Or all the ways he brings the reader back to DK's feeling like a ghost in his own life and how it builds and builds until he only sees in black and white and yet how none of it comes off as repetitive or overdone. It's just gorgeous. And funny. And sad. And yes, I still cried even though I knew what was going to happen on every page. Man, I love this book.

I'm ignoring all my library books and the to-be-read books clamoring for attention while I dive back into his. I'm in the middle of Night Watch right now and it's even better than I remembered.

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