Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spotted: Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

Where: B-train
Who was reading: A 30-something woman wearing a blank expression and an oddly shaped knit hat that called to mind an impressionist rendering of a rotted pineapple.
Digital reading device: Nook
Winner of... an ALA Alex Award. Given each year to books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults.
Says fellow Alex winner Aimee Bender (in the NY Times): “Room is built on two intense constraints: the limited point of view of the narrator, a 5-year-old boy named Jack; and the confines of Jack’s physical world, an 11-by-11-foot room where he lives with his mother. . . . Jack’s eyes remake the familiar. It is invigorating, watching him learn, and the way Donoghue reveals the consequences of Room through her attention to detail is tremendous.”
This reminds me of... a Louise Bourgeois retrospective I once saw at the Guggenheim. The exhibit featured several miniature rooms, sliced at peculiar angles and decorated with haunting arrangements of mirrors, shrouds and floating chairs. Each room was uniquely disturbing and claustrophobic, and that feeling never fully fled from memory.


  1. Intense constraints and a limited point of view sounds an awful lot like squeezing into the B-train on weekday mornings.

  2. I think that book groups should read your blog when they are trying to decide upon their next read. Look out Oprah !