Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Entertaining Disasters by Nancy Spiller

I am in love with this book. Conceptually, it's rather like "Mrs.Dalloway" but has a strong sense of dark humor. A great winter weekend read--and since the book includes recipes, you've got plenty of ideas for dinner on hand.


  1. Wayne's Mom1/14/2009

    Don't get why it's conceptually like Mrs Dalloway, but then I don't really get the whole thing about why Virginia Woolf's characters don't get to do anything much aside from think. Do they, for instance, ever get to EAT anything...? or take a bath? I just honestly can't remember them doing anything except committing these Mental Speech Acts which is finally just so claustrophobic, which is why I just generally like a character like the Food Writer in Entertaining Disasters who actually goes shopping for squab and drinks a whole bottle of wine by herself and, sure, THINKS all the time -- don't we all -- but also has this body that she goes around having to maintain. It was E.M.Forster who said we finally choose our books the way we do our friends, by our affection for them, which is why he liked whoever wrote The Swiss Family Robinson better than he did Gertrude Stein though he TOTALLY knew Gertrude Stein was For the Ages while who can even remember who wrote the other one. What I'm saying is that Mrs. Dalloway might even be an invidious comparison in that it makes Entertaining Disasters sound like one of those Hard Books, which it frankly isn't...

  2. Chris, I am happy you see Mrs. Dalloway in my debut novel Entertaining Disasters, it was one of the many things in the back of my mind as I wrote it. And I am equally pleased that Wayne's Mom so pithily sees it as something beyond that. I am forever grateful to Virginia Woolf for her essay "A Room of One's Own" (I now have just that thing and it enabled me to finally finish my novel!), but I confess I have not connected with some of her other fiction, such as To The Lighthouse. Thank you both for getting so much pleasure from work, as now I can take the rocks out of my pockets.