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Winter Words with Emma Donoghue
September 2, 2011 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Emma Donoghue discusses her novel, Room, in depth. [Warning: This is a single, hour-long video, but well worth it if you like this author or this book. Room is told entirely from the perspective of a 5-year-old boy and deals with the subjects of sexual and physical abuse. If you haven't read the book and wish to read it, but you don't like spoilers, don't watch the video.]
posted by ottimo (16 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great book.
posted by gottabefunky at 6:44 PM on September 2, 2011


I want to read that.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:49 PM on September 2, 2011


Donoghue was on CBC's The Next Chapter this year to discuss the book. It was a wonderful interview and, in my opinion, doesn't spoil the book (which I have not yet read).

You can download the mp3 directly here or listen at the first link in my comment. Donoghue is first up.
posted by maudlin at 8:23 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems like you all know this because of knowledge about the book rather than what the OP wrote. But in the end, my fault. My apologies.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:34 PM on September 2, 2011


Hey, so has anyone else who also has a five year old read the book?

I really wanted to like it, but I was so distracted by the fact that the narrator seriously seemed more like 2 and a half.
posted by peep at 9:13 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


[early threadshitting considered harmful, do over?]
posted by jessamyn at 9:14 PM on September 2, 2011


I started reading it and didn't get very far before abandoning it.

The child's persepective just seemed too contrived in order to provide information or details on the plot.

I didn't connect with it at all. I'm curious to see why so many readers found it interesting and a good read.
posted by calgirl at 9:16 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey, so has anyone else who also has a five year old read the book?

I really wanted to like it, but I was so distracted by the fact that the narrator seriously seemed more like 2 and a half.


This does not surprise me, considering his circumstances.
posted by EmGeeJay at 9:30 PM on September 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Donnahughe is a pretty great novelist, poet and anthologist--but the Room failed to do anything for me, and i cant quite figure out why.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:35 PM on September 2, 2011


Huh. I actually happened to read this. My partner grabbed it from a shelf in an airport somewhere. Took me a bit of effort to get in to, but only a bit. It's an interesting perspective, from the boy's view. I especially enjoyed being reminded how "a room" used to be "the room", and before that, was "Room". Discovered a few places in my own mind where some things still held their toddler-like identity. Quite interesting.
posted by Goofyy at 11:55 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I listened to the audiobook version of Room that Donoghue discusses in the video and it made all the difference in connecting me to the narrative. I found it quite touching and thoughtfully rendered. Watching the video linked really gave me some insight into her process. Thanks for sharing it!
posted by nuala at 12:35 AM on September 3, 2011


Haven't finished many books lately...but immediately got sucked into this one. I enjoyed the narrative voice. I also assumed that the "toddler voice" represented the kind of development that might take place as a result of growing up in one room, with one other person, whose life is easier when that child doesn't become too wise (the mom, I mean--she may be invested in her child remaining naive and young).
posted by vitabellosi at 1:02 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the first book that's ever made me cry, about halfway in.
posted by merveilleux at 8:13 AM on September 3, 2011


For anyone that is considering reading this book... You will almost certainly want to walk away halfway through. However, just as you can't take anymore the book as it has been, it substantially changes and becomes fascinating in a completely different way.
posted by Morrigan at 2:57 PM on September 3, 2011


I loved the book and it really, really hammered a home a lesson about narrative consistency. The first half or so is a major achievement, an incredibly compelling bit of literaure. The second half is a weird mixed bag. But really, read it.
posted by GilloD at 6:35 PM on September 3, 2011


I didn't see her keeping her boy naive, rather, I saw her as creating a situation such that the boy wouldn't become impossibly frustrated due to the confinement. In some regards, these are the same thing, but one is a mercy, the other is selfish.
posted by Goofyy at 3:16 AM on September 5, 2011


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