If James Joyce worked on Celebrity Love Island.
‘My Father’s Wig by Anne Enright is about Grace, a woman who works on a show called ‘Love Quiz’. She also happens to have an angel called Stephen living with her. He killed himself jumping off a bridge, and is now walking the earth as all suicides have to, growing his angel wings. That’s a rather nice idea for the fate of suicides. He is cold to the touch, doesn’t do any cleaning, cooks her dinner and watches the television a lot. And from there, the book goes a bit weird…on the back Enright is compared to Flannery O’Connor, which makes sense, but she’s not quite in that league. I’m currently also reading At Swim – Two – Birds and she’s not quite in those leagues of ‘huh?’ just yet.
One section I’ve particularly liked is when she’s recalling watching the moon landing on TV, who said what, and what other programs were on that night, and complaining she wasn’t allowed to stay up to watch the late film. She recalls every moment of that momentous moment in history as a small child glued to the television in her home. Her mother then later tells her they were on holiday at the seaside at the time, listening to it on the radio and looking at the moon through a window. I think we are all guilty and capable of false memories, I wonder how much of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s work has prompted his mum to ring him and say ‘It did not happen like that!’
My own mother would swear in a court of law that she took me and my brother to the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum (a scene from a James Bond film was shot there, otherwise it would be as interesting as it sounds. Yay, chalk!) but we both swear we have never been, we remember her and my dad going while we were staying with elderly relatives working on our boredom tolerance levels. She brought us back gifts, but super-imposed us on the scene.
And finally I’d like to dedicate this post to a little mouse, rather like the one in a the above picture, who after some cajoling, begging, and swift movements on my part, was relocated from the hallway to barn with the aid of a plastic flower pot and a CD. The bloody cat may have taken part of your tail, but she’ll never take your freedom!