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The Mare

af Mary Gaitskill

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3892365,778 (3.84)27
Fiction. Literature. HTML:Following her National Book Award--nominated Veronica, here is Mary Gaitskill's most poignant and powerful work yet--the story of a Dominican girl, the Anglo woman who introduces her to riding, and the horse who changes everything for her.

Velveteen Vargas is eleven years old, a Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn. Her host family is a couple in upstate New York: Ginger, a failed artist and shakily recovered alcoholic, and her academic husband, Paul, who wonder what it will mean to "make a difference" in such a contrived situation. Gaitskill illuminates their shifting relationship with Velvet over several years, as well as Velvet's encounter with the horses at the stable down the road--especially with an abused, unruly mare called Fugly Girl. With strong supporting characters--Velvet's abusive mother, an eccentric horse trainer, a charismatic older boy who awakens Velvet's nascent passion--The Mare traces Velvet's journey between the vital, violent world of the inner city and the world of the small-town stable.

In Gaitskill's hands, the timeless story of a girl and a horse is joined with a timely story of people from different races and classes trying to meet one another honestly. The Mare is raw, heart-stirring, and original.

From the Hardcover edition..
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» Se også 27 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
I'm a big fan of Mary Gaitskill's thoughtful, always interesting writing. I loved this book and actually delayed reading it on occasion so I could make it last longer. ( )
  aseikonia | Jul 1, 2023 |
(Summer reading: a book about animals.) ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
4.5 stars ( )
  snakes6 | Aug 25, 2020 |
I enjoyed this book and found it absorbing, especially the parts that Velvet or her mother narrate. Velvet's voice in particular felt on-pitch to me. Ginger, who hosts Velvet for the summer at her home upstate, I thought had a less interesting story, but at times her perspective added context to Velvet's narration. The end is a bit abrupt, but a thoughtful and interesting look into a young girl's life overall. ( )
  nancyjean19 | Jun 3, 2020 |
A journey...ON A HORSE!

It was great. There have been so many novels this year constructed by different narrators in short bits - and I've got to say I don't hate it. It was engaging and sad and full of majestic horses. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
By reputation, Mary Gaitskill is a writer not only immune to sentiment but actively engaged in deep, witchy communion with the perverse...No writer is sharper about the fickle exigencies of desire. Dominance and submission—the shifting poles that govern all relationships, not just sexual ones—are Gaitskill’s great subjects...One such child is Velveteen Vargas, called Velvet, who appears in Gaitskill’s new novel, “The Mare” (Pantheon). When the book opens, Velvet is eleven....Their greatest power struggle takes place around the question of horses. As soon as Velvet begins to take riding lessons, it’s clear that she’s a natural equestrian. Silvia is sure that she’ll fall and kill herself, and refuses to grant permission for her to ride; Ginger, delighting in Velvet’s skill and the transformative potential of her obvious excellence, secretly overrules her.
 
Gaitskill’s extraordinary, subtle rendering of the complex physical and spiritual pulse among these people tenuously yoked together by liberal ideals touches, obviously, on tricky questions of class and race. She pushes that edge by taking on not only Velvet’s point of view, but also her abusive mother’s, and by going deeply into Velvet’s world at home, her life at school, her growing interest in the boys in her neighborhood. Now and then, things get dodgy. While I could accept that Velvet’s mother, out of rage, internalized misogyny and a twisted form of protectiveness, beats her daughter and wildly favors her son... People, in this book, lie to one another and to themselves in what they say and do, but their bodies are exquisitely sensitive instruments for experiencing the true, secret, unnameable lives of others. .. People, in this book, lie to one another and to themselves in what they say and do, but their bodies are exquisitely sensitive instruments for experiencing the true, secret, unnameable lives of others. Gaitskill delivers this visceral moment, and others like it, with full knowledge that embraces can be rough, and the people offering them are nearly always flawed, vulnerable and scarred. And yet, she insists in this magnificently hopeful novel. And yet.
 
The Mare, too, thrives on the idea and the actuality of social collision; what it represents to us in terms of a radical challenge to the deeply embedded stratification of haves and have-nots, and how it is experienced by complex, damaged, frail, angry and desiring human beings. What lies, asks Gaitskill, in the gap between the theory and the reality?... At a crudely superficial level, everyone in The Mare behaves true to type; it is in its more subterranean depths that the mystery of attachment begins to show itself. Gaitskill is a writer who situates herself in a version of reality, and then studs it with the portents and symbols of the unconscious; the tiny box of found objects, including a broken doll that looks like Ginger, that Velvet keeps close; the news reports from the Iraq war that float from the car radio into Ginger’s agitated brain. And while The Mare is not perfect – sustaining a child’s voice is near-impossible, and the book’s adherence to an unfolding temporal narrative means that it lapses into episodic repetitiveness – it is bold, dramatic and deeply unsettling.
 
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:Following her National Book Award--nominated Veronica, here is Mary Gaitskill's most poignant and powerful work yet--the story of a Dominican girl, the Anglo woman who introduces her to riding, and the horse who changes everything for her.

Velveteen Vargas is eleven years old, a Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn. Her host family is a couple in upstate New York: Ginger, a failed artist and shakily recovered alcoholic, and her academic husband, Paul, who wonder what it will mean to "make a difference" in such a contrived situation. Gaitskill illuminates their shifting relationship with Velvet over several years, as well as Velvet's encounter with the horses at the stable down the road--especially with an abused, unruly mare called Fugly Girl. With strong supporting characters--Velvet's abusive mother, an eccentric horse trainer, a charismatic older boy who awakens Velvet's nascent passion--The Mare traces Velvet's journey between the vital, violent world of the inner city and the world of the small-town stable.

In Gaitskill's hands, the timeless story of a girl and a horse is joined with a timely story of people from different races and classes trying to meet one another honestly. The Mare is raw, heart-stirring, and original.

From the Hardcover edition..

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