Saturday, October 20, 2007

Geist review of Goldfish Dancer

Geist magazine reviewed Patricia Robertson's Goldfish Dancer in issue 66, it can be found online here:

I've copied it in below --likely illegally. Luddite that I am, I can't seem to get the links to take.

The Goldfish Dancer

Patricia Robertson is not a prolific writer—The Goldfish Dancer (Biblioasis) is only her second collection in over a decade—but in this collection she offers stories that draw you in and make you forget about time: a rare gift. I read one story, then another, then another. . . Set in Europe and North America, in the past and the present, these are short stories and novellas that explore the complexities of human relationships. In “Graves of the Heroes,” the protagonist sets off on the noble search for the grave of her great-uncle, who fought in the Spanish Civil War. But in a country where she is a foreigner and cannot communicate, she ends up trusting others based on the commonality of language (and not necessarily a person’s actions), straying from her goal and crossing boundaries (for better or worse) that she might not otherwise cross. If Robertson’s characters have one thing in common, it is journeying. They travel—literally or figuratively. They go to “foreign” lands, they have trouble communicating and their inability to find their way leads to tests of their “goodness.” Robertson’s protagonists are fundamentally “good” people. In the novella “After Annabel,” a character explains that being an exile is something that you don’t get to choose. In fact, The Goldfish Dancer is a collection of stories about exiles. As they head in one direction, something comes along and they are sucked into situations that they didn’t choose; and here they are, for your reading pleasure.

No comments: