View Full Version : Annotations?

03-23-2005, 04:09 AM
When I was in an MFA program (never finished - ran out of $$), we had to write roughly one annotation per week - take a book and analyze one particular element in 500-750 words. Some of mine were:

Fierce Attachments (Vivian Gornick) - How she paints her mother as an emotionally complex person, rather than just a narcissistic bully. Gornick's empathy for and understanding of her mother allows the reader to decide how s/he feels about the character, rather than telling the reader how to feel (a problem I constantly struggle with)

The Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro) - The language of class. I wanted to look at how exactly one crafts an unreliable narrator, but I found it too difficult; it's something I still want to learn.

Monkeys (Susan Minot) - Maintaining an omniscent narrative voice while shifting the focus between multiple people.

Blu's Hanging (Lois Yamanaka) - What the author conveys abot class and racism by using Hawaiian pidgin for all the dialogue and Standard English for the narrative.

Anyway, rather than just listing the annotations, I was wondering if anyone else would be interested in an annotation thread, where we could post the ones we've already done and contribute new ones. I want to get back into the habit, because the process is so helpful. And if a bunch of us do it, it'll be like a study group. I want a writers' group that goes beyond writing and a book club that goes beyond reading; I think I want a book club specifically for writers.

I don't think it's necessary for all of us to have read every book; if a particular issue comes up - genre-specific, or something we've been struggling with - we can always go check the book out of the library (or even maybe exchange through here?)

So with that in mind, I will swallow what little pride I have and post one of these annotations so you can see what I'm talking about.


p.s. The books can be novels, memoir, poetry, short stories, essays - the idea is to focus on how a given writer accomplishes a given task.