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Sarah Canaryn salaisuus (1991)

– tekijä: Karen Joy Fowler

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6731925,508 (3.59)47
An early novel from the bestselling author of WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB and THE SWEETHEART SEASON. Set in the Old West, this is the strange, magical tale of Sarah Canary and the ragtag band of misfits and lovers she trails in her wake When black cloaked Sarah Canary wanders into a railway camp in the Washington territories in 1873, Chin Ah Kin is ordered by his uncle to escort 'the ugliest woman he could imagine' away. Far away. But Chin soon becomes the follower. In the first of many such instances, they are separated, both resurfacing some days later at an insane asylum. Chin has run afoul of the law and Sarah has been committed for observation. Their escape from the asylum in the company of another inmate sets into motion a series of adventures and misadventures that are at once hilarious, deeply moving, and downright terrifying.… (lisätietoja)
  1. 10
    The Vegetarian (tekijä: Han Kang) (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Both books involve a mysterious woman and the perceptions, projections and assumptions about her by others.
  2. 10
    Wild Life (tekijä: Molly Gloss) (lquilter)
    lquilter: Gloss writes beautifully, as does Fowler. The settings are similar -- 19th century Pacific Northwest. The premise is also related; an almost realistic novel that slips into SF-ality.
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 19) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Bizarre and interesting. I'm not sure I understand anything about it. I loved the historical entries before each chapter. ( )
  Angel.Tatum.Craddock | Dec 17, 2020 |
"I shouldn't tell you this," Purdy said, which, of all the ways to begin a sentence, was B.J.'s absolute favorite. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Jul 4, 2020 |
Apparently this is a sci-fi book ... but I must be a dunderhead, because I didn't get that at all. I thought the writing was exceptionally lovely, the picaresque (episodic) plot kept me engaged, I liked the Wizard of Ozishness of the proceedings (Sarah Canary, the one character we really never get inside the head of, manages to gather a coterie of companions as the novel progresses), and there were moments of charm, humour, surprise, and insight.

Didn't love it enough for 5 stars, but it held my interest throughout.

But sci-fi? No. That's a stretch. You may as well say "Old Mother Hubbard" is sci-fi, because the dog could be an alien, and the bone wasn't there because Star Fleet teleported it out of the cupboard. ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
"'If Sarah Canary is just what she seems, harmless, vague ...' Chin thought Sarah Canary had never seemed harmless or vague to him. Mysterious, rather. Possibly powerful. Certainly purposeful." -- Karen Joy Fowler, 'Sarah Canary'

When you make assumptions about people, assume you are wrong. That is one conclusion to be drawn from Karen Joy Fowler's mysterious, powerful and certainly purposeful 1991 novel "Sarah Canary."

Sarah Canary, a name just bestowed on her because nobody knows her real name, is mute. She is a "strange and ugly white woman" who shows up in the Pacific Northwest in the 1870s. Everyone has a different idea of who or what she might be. To Chin, who has come all the way from China to work on the railroad, she seems like a ghost, and he feels somehow obligated to watch over her. Soon she is assumed to be mentally ill and, along with Chin, is locked away in an asylum. She soon escapes with Chin and B.J., another of the inmates.

Later Sarah is thought to be a wild woman raised by wolves and is made a part of a traveling show, even though audiences find her disappointingly tame. Adelaide, a suffragette, mistakes her for a woman on the run for killing her husband. Others think her a man in disguise. There is even a suggestion she could be an alien from outer space. Readers never discover who Sarah Canary really is. True to the spirit of her novel, Fowler lets us make our own assumptions and draw our own conclusions.

Yet Fowler's novel is more than a satire on people's misconceptions about other people. It could be viewed as a philosophical treatise on reality itself. Consider the following lines near her conclusion:

"What we say occupies a very thin surface, like the skin over a body of water. Beneath this, through the water itself, is what we see, sometimes clearly if the water is calm, sometimes vague if the water is troubled, and we imagine this vision to be the truth, clear or vague. But beneath this is yet another level. This is the level of what is and this level has nothing to do with what we say or what we see."

And a few pages later:

"We listen to stories and forget that the listening also tells the story. The story we hear is ourselves. We are the only ones who can hear it."

Thus, what I see and hear is not what you see and hear, even if we are in the same place at the same time. It helps explain political differences, religious differences and, in fact, the differences that create every division, every argument, every war. It also explains the power of literature itself. What I read in a story, including this story, is not at all what you will read. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Aug 22, 2016 |
Off beat period piece -a sly satirical feminist text.
The closest thing in texture that I could compare it to, are the 2 oddball neo western films -"Silent Tongue" directed by Sam Shepard, and "Dead Man" directed by Jim Jarmusch.
She has a very convincingly rendered mentally ill character, who's quite amusing without being a derogatory stereotype.
Liked the novel a great deal! ( )
  arthurfrayn | Sep 27, 2014 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 19) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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You only comprehend things which you perceive.  And as you persist in regarding your ideas of time and space as absolute, although they are only relative, and thence form a judgment on truths which are quite beyond your sphere, and which are imperceptible to your terrestrial organism and faculties, I should not do a true service, my friend, in giving you fuller details of my ultra-terrestrial observations. --Camille Flammarion, Lumen, 1973
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Ensimmäiset sanat
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The years after the American Civil War were characterized by excess, ornamented by cults and corruptions.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

-

An early novel from the bestselling author of WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB and THE SWEETHEART SEASON. Set in the Old West, this is the strange, magical tale of Sarah Canary and the ragtag band of misfits and lovers she trails in her wake When black cloaked Sarah Canary wanders into a railway camp in the Washington territories in 1873, Chin Ah Kin is ordered by his uncle to escort 'the ugliest woman he could imagine' away. Far away. But Chin soon becomes the follower. In the first of many such instances, they are separated, both resurfacing some days later at an insane asylum. Chin has run afoul of the law and Sarah has been committed for observation. Their escape from the asylum in the company of another inmate sets into motion a series of adventures and misadventures that are at once hilarious, deeply moving, and downright terrifying.

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Keskiarvo: (3.59)
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2.5 4
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