Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Remembering Kaye Gibbons

Kaye Gibbons was arrested on Sunday for trying to illegally obtain prescription drugs. While I was reading the N&O article, it mentioned one of her books, Ellen Foster, which rang up a distant and dusty memory lodged between how fast you'd have to jump off a pool's starting block to clear the flags, and bits of the fundamental theorem of calculus. I remembered the book because it was assigned to my English class in 10th grade as part of our summer reading.
I cracked the book open; I attempted to crack the spine. I began reading the book; I promptly threw it against the wall.
It's a good book, as it's well-written from the view of a 12 year old white trash girl living somewhere in eastern North Carolina in the late 1940's. And you would absolutely love it if you enjoyed Death of a Salesman. In the book, the girl is sexually and physically abused by her father, and she goes to live with different, terrible people until she lands herself in a foster home where she's finally happy. There was no catharsis at the end, which is why I probably hated it so much. But it is well-written.
I can only question our teacher assigning the book at the start of the semester instead of something more enjoyable like Heart of Darkness or All the King's Men or even Ethan Frome. Now those were the light-hearted books I enjoy!
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