I haven’t read this book by Barbara Ehrenreich yet, but I intend to. I have long held a deep suspicion about the cultish spin-offs of the ‘think positive’ movement (in business, in alternative health care, in management models), not least because of the way they do not acknowledge or honour pain, grief or suffering. In doing so, think-positive proponents deny the experience and reality of those who do not share their belief system, a system which aims to narrow and control people’s responses to difficult events.
On a personal level, the people I know who’ve lived the longest in my extended family have been those with an ascerbic, take-no-prisoners approach to life. There may not be a causal connection between longevity and an absence of rose-coloured glasses, but I’m taking notes.
When I finished the V Girls draft a few days back, I wondered what people did when they weren’t writing. Then I remembered: they read. And I have been reading:
Brown Skin Blue by Belinda Jeffrey
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M.T. Anderson
The War by Marguerite Duras
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
The Fifth Child (again) by Doris Lessing
All marvellous and absorbing, for different reasons (now you know why I’m not a reviewer).