Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

Anne Michael’s Fugitive Pieces is an impressive first novel. I am unsure of its impact. There are some mesmerising moments, the opening scenes as the boy emerges from the bog. The story of loss, grieving and love is frequently heartbreaking. I am drawn to the book’s frequent digressions into Antarctic expeditions or palaeontology. I like literature that wanders, gets distracted. Amidst the lyricism there is no shortage of slightly overwrought prose.

The blurb includes this quote from John Berger, “The most important book I have read for 40 years.” There are echoes of Berger in Anne Michael’s style. My guess is that Berger’s compliment is overly generous but the book is moving and worth reading.

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