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children's literature, childhood and culture (and anything else that strikes my fancy).

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Location: pittsburgh, U.S. Outlying Islands

carbon-based life form: thinking, reading and gardening. New College alum; current grad student writing a dissertation. I specialize in children's literature, media, and culture, and queer/gender studies, with a strong interest in 19th century British literature and culture. I like history, a lot.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Owl in Love

I had a spree of reading YA novels a few weeks ago - re-reading Chris Crutcher and being dazzled, among many other things - but one of them was my first read of Patrice Kindl's Owl in Love.
Wow!

Owl Tycho, first-person narrator and heroine, is a were-owl; she shifts between human and owl. and happens to be in love with a human (her biology teacher). I won't say too much here about plot, because it happens to be something of a suspenseful book, but what *did* boggle my mind was Owl herself, as a not-so-human narrator.

I expected her to be human, and occasionally owl - much the way i imagine werewolves to be humans who resist, or are resigned, to their animal shapes. But Owl is an owl - even as a human body, she eats owl food (mouse sandwiches), and seems much more attuned to her owl/animal self than to her human shape. It's a really peculiar narrative trick that makes her simultaneously easy to identify with and wonderously Other and different.

Quite a good book. A month and a half on, and I'm still puzzling over this animal-identification business - the sign, to me, of a provoking text.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Suzi said...

Kerry,
Two things: 1. REALLY sorry about your boyfriend. I wrote a column once about a similar situation when my partner left me suddenly, and just in case you feel like reading it (it's actually a list of things friends should and should not do in this situation), it's at http://128.255.60.56/cgi-bin/ArchiveIQue.acgi$rec=55352-465618 (which makes me think I should snag all my writing and stick it on my own blog!).

2. I liked OWL IN LOVE a ton because it was so unique. Patrice Kindl has one of the most unusual voices in YA lit, IMHO, and OWL is the coolest of them all. So glad your blog is here...I was inspired by yours to start my own. :-)
Suzi (from Child_Lit)

3:04 PM  

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