Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ten top barriers to love in some top stories

James Dawson’s books include Say Her Name and This Book Is Gay. At the Guardian he tagged ten ways in which writers have established barriers to love just for the sake of a great story, including:

It’s not just the men who throw a spanner in the works when it comes to love. Sometimes a female character proves just too much of an unknowable mystery to welcome love in. These characters, often too damaged to love or be loved, pop up throughout fiction, with John Green a notable fan. Both Alaska (in John Green’s Looking For Alaska) and Margo (Paper Towns) are simply too complicated for their male suitors. The Lisbon sisters prove too much for a whole teenage boy Greek chorus in Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. Perhaps the ultimate romantic enigma is Margaret Atwood’s Oryx in Oryx and Crake: while the horrors of her childhood are clear, we’re never invited into her head and she offers little more than “Oh Jimmy” when he tries to love her.
Read about another entry on the list.

Oryx and Crake is among Torie Bosch's top twelve great pandemic novels, Annalee Newitz's top ten works of fiction that might change the way you look at nature and Liz Jensen's top 10 environmental disaster stories.

--Marshal Zeringue