26 February, 2009

But there are tender bits.

Nymeth, on her blog Things Mean A Lot, finds a lot to like about the novel:
Tender Morsels deals with rape, but it’s never actually explicit. What it does is suggest what happens, and your mind does the rest. But nothing is actually masked. Especially not the impact, physical and psychological, that this kind of violence has on Liga. I love that Margo Lanagan doesn't ever make us pity Liga. She makes our heart break for her, yes, and she makes us love her, and respect her, and wish her the very best.

I seriously couldn’t have loved Tender Morsels more.
What's more, she will campaign for me: 'This is the book I will henceforth shove down the throats of people who dismiss fantasy, who dismiss YA.'

:)

What's more, 40 people have dropped by to comment—I've never had that many comments, even when I asked people how to stop drinking. How do you do that, Nymeth? (Get the comments, I mean, not stop drinking. Tee-hee.)

7 Comments:

Blogger Nymeth said...

I will campaign for you! Seriously, thank you for writing this book. Thank you.

The comments: I guess it helps that I'm very involved with the book blogging community. Which is a way of saying I blab about books all over the internet :P

27 February, 2009 05:30  
Blogger Debi said...

Oh, don't let Nymeth fool you...she gets so many comments because she's an incredibly wonderful, genuine person...and she writes the most freakin' awesome book reviews in the whole blogging world.

I have to admit that I was a bit leery of trying your book...I thought it just might be too painful. But Nymeth has truly convinced me that it is just too special a book to be passed over. I can't wait to experience it for myself.

27 February, 2009 12:07  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I was so glad to see Nymeth review your book, firstly because the review was so positive and second because she does deservedly get so much traffic. I enjoyed Blackjuice and Red spikes, and now will have to read Tender Morsels.

27 February, 2009 23:54  
Blogger Aidan said...

Hi Margo,

It's Aidan from the Clarion South 2009 group. (I'm the one that wrote the story with the line numbers and hidden code).

I'm putting together a quiz about the people at this year's Clarion.

Weird facts - you have to guess what Clarion student/tutor it applies to.

Can you think of a weird fact about yourself? :-)
(e.g strange things you've done).
e.g - someone else's is that they were baptised in a jacuzzi.

Have fun,
Aidan.

03 March, 2009 11:46  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Hi there, Nymeth, and all Nymeth's friends - you're very welcome here! And I hope you enjoy TM as much as Nymeth did.

Aidan: You'd better send me your email address via margoATinhouseDOTcomDOTau I have many strange things I can share with you. ;)

04 March, 2009 19:10  
Anonymous albertRoss said...

this is going to sound a little confused - i haven't read the book (yet) and i haven't read your blog either. i'm reacting to something you wrote for SF Signal, about taboo topics in SF.

i think you may be a little off in your assessment of teens simply skipping over the 'icky' bits, while not clearly understanding what you were hinting at.

i suspect you may find that they know quite a lot more about it than even you do, having grown up in a world rather different from yours - one in which these things are somewhat easier to take in stride, and rather less 'icky' than you might imagine.

adult/child sex and incest are taboos - it doesn't necessarily follow that they're 'icky' - and it's also possible that the strength of these taboos is weaker now - at least partly as a result of the challenges that have already been published.

in short - i'm suggesting you might want to consider that said teens may actually take your descriptions to be something of a rite-of-passage into that heaven you mentioned.

just a thought - as i said, i've not read the book yet.

08 April, 2009 05:32  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Hi albertRoss, and thanks for dropping by with your comments. Why did you not leave them at SF Signal, I'm wondering?

I think you may be misinterpreting what I said over at SF Signal - I didn't assert that teen readers wouldn't understand what went into the jump cuts. I said that readers (and this applies to both adults and teens) who did have the knowledge or experience to fill in those gaps could do so, while readers who didn't could allow themselves not to see the worst of what was happening. They could, of course, also be mystified and put the book down, which is fine too.

You may also be mistaken about my use of the word 'icky', which is me interpreting the reactions of readers who do not like reading about unpleasant scenes - and excuse me, but I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that the large proportion of father-daughter sexual activity (the sort I depict in Tender Morsels) would be interpreted as unpleasant by the daughter. And the large proportion of gang rapes would - ooh, probably - be unlikely to be enjoyed by the rapee?

It's not the world's difference over time that makes these matters more or less taboo, or easier or harder to confront, because we're always living in a multiplicity of worlds. It's the stage at which a person (in this case, a reader) is, in their own life and mind, that will determine how manageable or repellent confronting material is to them.

You seem to be suggesting ('i suspect you may find...' etc.) that because I'm not a teenager any longer, the frame of mind of teenagers is no longer accessible to me, that it's impossible for me to creak out of my middle-aged mentality and apprehend how teenaged people might see things. That it's impossible for me to remember teenagerhood, and to put together my memories and my knowledge of the current world (my own observations and my teenaged children's) and see anything like what a teenager sees of life today. This is patronising of you, I think.

Also, how do you know what kind of world I grew up in? How do you know what I know, and whatever gives you the right to assume that I know nothing, or little, or less than you? And what entitles to speak on behalf of all 'teens'? Are you a teenager yourself? Did they give you permission to represent this homogenous world you imply they all grew up in?

'i'm suggesting you might want to consider...' The point of my contribution to the Mind Meld was that I didn't give enough description in the incest and rape scenes in Tender Morsels for inexperienced teenaged readers to be forced through a rite of passage. They don't have to skip over the unpleasant bits, because the unpleasant bits are only implied, not described blow by blow. Oh, okay, the miscarriages are described blow by blow - the results of the cruelties inflicted on Liga, but not the worst of the actual cruelties themselves.

Also, the heaven that my heroine reaches after her suffering is not exactly a reward, but more a form of escape. It's not entirely pleasant in its effects, and it can't last. It's not a place where real people would want to end up, any more than temporarily.

10 April, 2009 09:34  

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