Reading Fugitive Pieces

Writer Anne Michaels would agree that, “The ideal reader reads all literature as if it were anonymous.” Michaels has deliberately kept a low profile, saying “I really believe we read differently when we know even the most banal facts of an author’s life.”

Her long awaited second novel, published last year, attracted mixed assessments. Fugitive Pieces, her acclaimed debut is my next book to read. Of Michaels:

John Berger, her friend, collaborator, and admirer, praises “the great care and attention she gives to words, which corresponds to the care and attention she gives to the lives she’s describing. There is a great physicality in her writing, which usually goes with the personal and the intimate, but she has distance. And that combination of very precise physicality and distance is what you get in ancient song.”

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