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Book Title: A Walk Out of the World|
The author of the book: Ruth Nichols
ISBN 13: 9780441871339
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 931 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2738 times
Reader ratings: 4.5
Edition: Ace Books
Date of issue: February 1st 1986
Read full description of the books:
Trying to stay one book recommendation ahead of my daughter's voracious reading habit, I somehow clicked my way to Ruth Nichols. This short novel borrows heavily from LOTR and the Pevensie's magic wardrobe, but I kept reminding myself that it was written for a child somewhere between 10 and 13, not for a 44 year-old man who has seen all these tropes. The pacing was slow at times; a lot of plot devices went unexplained - and the denouement was almost inscrutable - by the end I realized this wasn't a book I could recommend to my daughter. Or anyone else, really. A one or two star offering, at best.
When I finished the book I went to Wikipedia to learn more about the author, and if the Wiki entry is to be believed, Nichols' story is very interesting. This was her first novel and published when she was eighteen. When I learned that piece of info, I went back and skimmed some of the sections and found it impressive someone of such a young age could write this well. I've read much worse things by adults that are venerated for their craft. Here's a sentence that shows wisdom far beyond 18 years:
When we try to understand [the story of our ancestors}, we are like someone a thousand years from now who will listen to the fairy tale and try, from that, to understand [our story].
In context, given the age of the author and that this was her first book, my opinion of its relative literary worth increased.
Nichols went on to pen a handful of other books of children lit and historical fiction. But her body of work exists now in that BURIED heap. If the Wikipedia stub of Nichols is to be trusted, the last few sentences are pretty depressing: Other than the few novels she produced as an adult and despite her educational achievements, Nichols never managed to establish a career in any form of gainful employment. After divorcing in 1998, health problems, including epilepsy, forced Nichols to live in a chronic care facility in Toronto.
When writing, is it necessary for an author to achieve success? Or is it simply the act of creating itself that should be the focus? I can't help but think of these questions - constantly - after reading Bartleby & Co.. Whether she wanted it or not, Nichols' works exist now in the world of the No.
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