Saturday, September 29, 2007

#63 - At A Loss For Words

Diane Schoemperlen's new novel At a Loss for Words kept me good company on the way to New York. While it's not out until January, I had the good fortune to read an ARC of the book that I got from work. It's a swift, slight novel about a middle-aged woman who suffers from writer's block brought on by the devastating end to a love affair with a man she had first fallen for over thirty years ago.

As the narrator works her way through crossword puzzles and self-help writerly books intended to break the curse of the block, she tells the story of the relationship with a comical and somewhat cynical edge that ensures the novel hits that sweet spot between literary and commercial fiction. As most of their relationship took place over email, with the two main characters living in different, undefined, cities, it's a wordy novel, which really works. And the irony of being wordy while working through writer's block isn't lost on the protagonist.

For the most part, Schoemperlen isn't an author I've had the pleasure of reading before, but I think I might check out Our Lady of the Lost and Found seeing how much I enjoyed this charming "post-romantic" novel.

PHOTO IN CONTEXT: The ARC sitting on the chair in my New York hotel room.


samlamb said...

I'll trade you - I have "Our Lady" and I am wonderfully excited to read this. I heard her read in Kingston once and was so fond of both "Forms of Devotion" and "A Language of Love".

So let's trade okay? I also have a clean tank top to return...

Melanie said...

I love Schoemperlen and we brought her to speak at our library once. She was such a nice person and gave a great reading. Can't wait to read this one, either - I'm first on the hold queue at work!