Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-23
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Elton John honors Knuckles; Matt Bomer's married Elton John honors Knuckles; Matt Bomer's married
After the sudden death of house-music pioneer Frankie Knuckles last month, the ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Astray
BOOK REVIEW Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Terri Schlichenmeyer
2013-01-16

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


by Emma Donoghue $25.99; Little, Brown and Company; 275 pages

The lady in the picture was wearing the biggest scowl you'd ever seen.

The photo was taken long ago and it made you wonder what happened that day to make her so snarly. Was there a death, lost crops, an accident or bad weather, or did the photographer make her angry?

You'll never know but you wonder, just like the portrait makes you wonder about her life. And in the new book Astray, a collection of short stories by Emma Donoghue, imagination becomes possibility.

Perhaps the woman in the picture had just gotten out of bed. It was her third time rising that day, but she had to do what she could to keep a roof over her head and food in her child's belly. Not even 30 years old, she felt worn, detesting her situation, loving her family. She hated her life but "she wouldn't swap it for any other."

Or, as you'll see in "The Widow's Cruse," the scowling woman could've been on her way to meet her lawyer. Newly widowed by a smallpox plague, she was frightened and unsure. She feared destitution. Her lawyer should have feared her.

Maybe the woman was escaping. In the photograph, she appeared to be white, but that doesn't mean anything. A man who's cruel to his slaves can be cruel to his wife, too. Or perhaps she was escaping to another country, making a journey with her children to join a husband who was never going to meet her at any pier.

It's possible, too, that the woman was scowling because she met a man who'd never love her. When men team up to seek fortune and pan for gold, they often forget that Yukon winters can be long and ferociously cold. Men do things to stay warm and sane. When that happens, women are mostly forgotten.

And then again, that woman you see scowling in the picture? There's something about her that you just can't quite figure out. Maybe—just maybe, as you'll see in "Daddy's Girl"—she's not really a woman, down deep.

Astray is written with a great premise: take an old newspaper article, story, fictional tale, or even a passing mention from any source, and imagine how that single episode in someone's life might have actually happened.

It sounds like a seventh-grade writing assignment, but in Donoghue's hands, it works to a level of impressiveness.

Moving through the centuries with her short stories, Donoghue turns everyday situations and period-piece slice-of-life situations into something of which O. Henry and Paul Harvey would be proud. Indeed, some of these tales start with a little sleight of word, poking our emotions in one way, then slowly twisting them into another direction before giving us the real story. You never know where these tales will end, and that's a good thing.

My only complaint about this book is that it didn't last long enough. I wanted more, and if that's the kind of book you have to have, then Astray is one to picture yourself reading.

Want more? Then look for Room: A Novel and Slammerkin, both by Donoghue.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

The Becker book outrage 2014-04-22
Matt Miner talks animal liberation, lesbian storyline 2014-04-22
Lesbianography: Lesbians and Sex, Out at CHM May 8 2014-04-17
BOOK REVIEW Falling into Place 2014-04-15
New Evanston independent bookstore to open in June 2014-04-15
Gerber Hart Library and Archives book sale April 26-27 2014-04-14
Chicago Humanities Fest names Alison Cuddy Program Director 2014-04-10
Comic book publishers sever Uline ties over anti-gay ads 2014-04-10
The Summer I Wasn't Me 2014-04-09
Lavender U: Balay on sexuality, gender in steel mills 2014-04-07
The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience 2014-04-01
BOOKS Man talks about being gay in the Colombian army 2014-04-01
Women & Children First plans April author events 2014-03-30
Women & Children First Bookstore hosts Jimmy Carter book signing 2014-03-27
Harry Nimmo deciphers fact from fiction in 'Before Summer' 2014-03-26
Gay Colombian soldier tells story in new book 2014-03-26
Knives and autopsies just the start in new Peggy Shinner book 2014-03-26
GLSEN, Matthew Shepard Foundation release Shepard curriculum 2014-03-20
Library commissioner talks changes, technology 2014-03-20
BOOK REVIEW Pee-Shy 2014-03-19
BOOK REVIEW The Days of Anna Madrigal 2014-03-19
BOOK REVIEW Teaching the Cat to Sit 2014-03-19
BOOK REVIEW Off the Rocks 2014-03-19
Katy Perry adds second show at United Center 2014-03-18
Women of Letters at Mayne Stage March 21 2014-03-15
CPL Commissioner Bannon at Gerber/Hart event 2014-03-14
Strub reflects on past and present AIDS activism 2014-03-13
BOOKS Jackie Collins: True 'Confessions' 2014-03-12
BOOK REVIEW Legally Wed 2014-03-12
Orchid show in Glencoe through March 16 2014-03-12
Sean Strub to make two Chicago appearances 2014-03-12
Jimmy Carter coming to Andersonville on March 27 2014-03-12
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes talks new media in Elmhurst 2014-03-12
'It Gets Better' with Tamale at Guild Complex 2014-03-09
"LGBT Writers in Schools" brings writers into classrooms 2014-03-08
Lambda book finalists announced 2014-03-06
Facebook co-founder at Elmhurst on March 6 2014-03-05
BOOK REVIEW I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples... 2014-03-04
Women & Children First bookstore March events, honor 2014-02-27
HIV/AIDS activist Sean Strub visiting March 12 2014-02-26





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

LGBTQ Senior Housing applications to open up
 
Body painter Barsallo delights gallery crowd
 
Lambda Legal Bon Foster benefit honors Fred Eychaner
 
Drag/burlesque workshop series held at SAIC
 
Sister Spit heats up a frigid Chicago
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.