(I didn’t actually miss a day of the challenge, I posted this last night and just realized this morning it was marked as private, probably cause I wrote it on the iPad).
“So I’m finally going mad,” she thought, “like everybody else. What a nuisance. Though I suppose it will be a change.”
For almost twenty years now I’ve answered this particular question always with the same book, despite having read a number of great books** since my first reading of it, many of them perhaps better books. But this book remains at the top of my list more because of what it represents to me (and the period in my life when I read it) then the actual content of the book (which I still find to be very relevant, and thought-provoking).
It is, of course, The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood.
The Edible Woman was the first Margaret Atwood book I read (and have since read them all, except for her poetry books but including her children’s books, which I love reading to Clara) and it was for an intro to English Lit class. This book probably set the course for my university curriculum, my major in English and my minor in Women Studies. It was a jumping off point for me in so many ways, and changed the way I thought not just about literature but also the way that I saw the world, and more specifically, my role in the world as a woman.
I didn’t graduate university as a radical feminist by any means (though I did love the idea of French feminism and adopted the philosophy loosely in how I live(d) my life) but I was certainly a different person leaving than when I entered.
I try and get as much as I can out of every book that I read by underlining sentences, quoting passages and identifying with characters but it’s very rare that a book will not only change the way I think but also change the way I live my life. And The Edible Woman did that for me.
**Other favorites that will always have a spot on my bookshelf: To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath), Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger), The World According to Garp (John Irving), The Color Purple (Alice Walker), Bag of Bones (Stephen King), I Know This Much Is True (Wally Lamb), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon), My Friend Leonard (James Frey), Freedom (Jonathan Franzen).
*Making blogging fun (and easy) again by participating in this 30 Day Challenge.