Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Patricia McKillip and I

At the random suggestion of someone at the library I started reading The Tower at Stony Wood. Previously, I've read Alphabet of Thorn and The Tower at Stony Wood seems to be extracting much the same feelings from me.

I want to like her writing. I feel like I should enjoy the story she tells, but for some reason, I don't. For whatever reason, I have a hard time getting my bearing with her prose. I feel like her writing is not grounded and I have a hard time telling up from down let alone even guessing where the story is going. It's not the allusive writing of Toni Morrison though it has an airy abstract feeling to it, but for me it seems to have similar intangible qualities. I don't mind odd presentation, or suggestive writing that makes me think, but I do need something concrete to build on.

I'm sure she is amazing and worth all the praise and accolades given her, but her ability seems to be lost on me.

Update 12/28/2009

I just read a short story by her in Wizards: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy edited Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois call Naming Day and absolutely loved it.

Seems I am ever the hypocrite.


Marion Deeds said...

Umm, to state the obvious, the problem may not be you. When I was in my early twenties I read her Riddle-master of Hed trilogy. I was swept up by it. Not sure I would be now. That prose style is intentional and it's almost become a tic--it hasn't changed much since the early 1970s. It could be that she's trying too hard to keep what worked for her then.

Chad Hull said...

Perhaps she has changed her voice, because what I recall from the short story I liked so much was nothing like the narrative from the novels I've read.

Change is good right?

Marion Deeds said...

Yes, change can be good. What was the name of the short story?

Chad Hull said...

It was called, Naming Day, and it felt nothing like her novels that I've read.

Marion said...

Naming Day. I'll check it out