Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Favourite Author Focus: Audrey Niffenegger

It’s might be odd to do a favourite author focus on someone who has only written two books, I suppose, but I adore both The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry beyond almost any other books.

Don't you think it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?

I first read The Time Traveler’s Wife on recommendation from my cousin with whom I was staying with in London for a month in mid-2005. I couldn’t put it down. I read it obsessively on the tube, at night before bed, and in the mornings while eating breakfast after my cousin and her two flatmates had gone to work. It was one of a few books I’ve ever read that I finished and quite honestly could’ve started from the beginning again straight away. I completely fell in love. I have a weird fascination with the idea of time travel; I blame reading Emily Rodda’s Finders Keepers and The Timekeeper at a very young age. (Oh, how I loved everything Emily Rodda when I was in primary school. I love that she still writes and is still being read by kids today, even if they’re different books to the ones I read.) The Time Traveler’s Wife is a love story like no other and still one of the most original stories I have ever read. A lot of people feel it’s overrated because it's so popular, but I don’t care if something’s popular or not – it’s either good or it’s not. And The Time Traveler’s Wife is amazing. (How could I not love something that even references a John Locke theory?)

'What we need,' Henry says, 'is a fresh start. A blank slate. Let's call her Tabula Rasa.'

I was ridiculously happy when Her Fearful Symmetry was announced as being released. I waited MONTHS for it to arrive in the bookstore I work at. I remember unpacking the boxes and my excitement at opening a box of them made my colleague make fun of me for days about it. Speaking of weird fascinations, I also love twins, particularly identical twins. It’s a crazy thing. But naturally when I heard that Audrey Niffenegger’s new book was going to involve TWO sets of identical twins, I was just a smidge (read: extremely) excited. Some reviews seem to just dislike it compared to The Time Traveler’s Wife. Do people read books by the same author because they want a repetition of their last book? How lame. It’s either too different to their previous books or authors get crap for making them too similar. I thought Her Fearful Symmetry was brilliant and read it in two days. But then, twins + ghosts + paranormal + London + a love story that isn’t typical = awesome to me.

In the dim light of the computer screen he seemed otherworldly; Julia thought him beautiful, though she knew it was the beauty of damage.

I really look forward to anything else Audrey Niffenegger writes in the future; her stories are different, beautiful, poetic, and amazing. They’re literary without being difficult to read for the sake of it, reference awesome music, include supernatural elements, the characterisation is realistic (including swearing, which the absence of often seems unnatural to me), and I find them incredibly difficult to put down. Perfect kind of books, if you ask me.

Of course... some people, me included, believe that punk is just the most recent manifestation of this, this spirit, this feeling, you know, that things aren't right and that in fact things are so wrong that the only thing we can do is to say 'fuck it', over and over again, really loud, until someone stops us.


  1. Love this author! I heard her next book is tentatively called "The Chinchilla Girls in Exile"...

  2. I know, it sounds rather interesting/different.

    Glad you're back in the blogosphere (haha), I missed your reviews!

  3. I've been wanting to read The Time Traveler's Wife for years, and this post has inspired me to finally get around to it sometime within the next few months. Her Fearful Symmetry sounds awesome, too. I need to track that one down.

  4. I think you'll like Time, not so sure about Symmetry. The Time Traveler's Wife can be a little confusing in terms of keeping track of where he is in the timeframe, so maybe read it when you're really focused and have time :) I'd love to know what you think of it! xoxo

  5. I really loved the time travellers wife. It was so different and compelling and i loved the love story in it.

    I really should check out her next novel - i think my library has it.

    great reviews of them :)