If you hadn’t heard, our book pick for the next podcast (airing on Monday, February 11th) is The Antagonist by Lynn Coady. Kirt has already read this book and I’m sure he is currently re-reading it furiously. I am excited to read it as I absolutely adored Coady’s other novel, Mean Boy, and her short-story collection, Play the Monster Blind.
Book description for The Antagonist:
Against his will and his nature, the hulking Gordon Rankin (“Rank”) is cast as an enforcer, a goon — by his classmates, his hockey coaches, and especially his own “tiny, angry” father, Gordon Senior.
Rank gamely lives up to his role — until tragedy strikes, using Rank as its blunt instrument. Escaping the only way he can, Rank disappears. But almost twenty years later he discovers that an old, trusted friend — the only person to whom he has ever confessed his sins — has published a novel mirroring Rank’s life. The betrayal cuts to the deepest heart of him, and Rank will finally have to confront the tragic true story from which he’s spent his whole life running away.
As well as discussing our opinions on the book itself, Kirt and I have decided to have a bit of a discussion on gender and writing for the next couple of podcasts. We are choosing novels in which an author writes from the point of view of the opposite sex (Linden MacIntyre’s Why Men Lie is up next month). We both realize that the topic of gendered writing has been hashed out by others far more erudite than we are, but we wanted to take a crack at it nonetheless. It was a something that came up often in our time at the bookstore: looking at stereotypes and trends in the writings of female and male authors, whether or not there were differences, whether there were trends in what female and male readers were picking up, and what we ourselves were drawn to. Does gender matter in reading and writing, and if it does, how so? We welcome you to join in our discussion, add comments, post questions for us here, on facebook or on goodreads!