Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is Rachael Ball reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Rachael Ball, author of The Inflatable Woman.

Her entry begins:
OK terrible guilty secret here but my reading habits have completely altered since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, (inspiration for the book.) I went from being an avid but eclectic reader of books to a veeery occasional reader. I used to read all sorts--such as Scandinavian detective novels with a human touch like Karin Fossum's, anything by David Sedaris (wonderfully witty New York chronicler of human foibles and his family misfortunes), the fantastically imaginative Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell by Susannah Clark. I love the way she makes the fairy world so believable with the historical footnotes.

Then in a different mood I would read something sad and nostalgic like Alain Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes. Anyway I think a lot of my treatments (steroids and such), made it difficult to watch TV or concentrate on a book for any period of time. Then working on The Inflatable Woman was so demanding I became the occasional reader I am today.

Since the book has been completed my reading habits are still not terribly sustained. I'm also more likely now to read philosophical texts like Pema Chodron (an American Buddhist monk); she has...[read on]
About The Inflatable Woman, from the publisher:
A Guardian Best Graphic Book of 2015

Iris (or balletgirl-42 as she's known on the internet dating circuit) is a zookeeper looking for love when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Overnight, her life becomes populated with a carnival of daunting hospital characters. Despite the attempts of her friends – Maud, Granma Suggs, Larry the Monkey and a group of singing penguins – to comfort her, Iris's fears begin to encircle her until all she has to cling to is the attention of a lighthouse keeper called sailor_buoy_39.

The Inflatable Woman combines magic realism with the grit of everyday life to create a poignant and surreal journey inside the human psyche.
Visit Rachael Ball's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Inflatable Woman.

Writers Read: Rachael Ball.

--Marshal Zeringue