Mystical Rose PDF ePub eBook

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Mystical Rose free pdf A beautiful novel about the fragility of memory, "Mystical Rose" is the carefully paced monologue of a woman in her late eighties with a disordered mind. Now on her deathbed under the constant care of doctors and nurses, Rose is having a one-sided conversation with God. Delving into her past, she revisits herself growing up in Cobourg, Ontario in the twenties. When her father returns from WWI an empty shell of his former self, she helps the family by going into service as a maid. Before long, she finds herself married to the scion of the wealthy family she works for, and transported into a world she doesn't understand- life becomes even more difficult when he meets a terrible early death. Through Scrimger's lyrical, precise prose and haunting images, Rose is revealed as a woman never quite in control of her own destiny, still trying to understand her own life. To Rose, her mind ravaged by senile dementia, the events of six decades ago are just as immediate as those of yesterday. As the "Globe and Mail" said: "Rose isn't sure why everyone is so upset with her and can't understand what she's saying, thinking, seeing." She drifts from crystal-clear recollections of her past, to confusion in the present as she attempts to interact with hospital staff and her daughter Harriet, whom she fears she never loved well enough. She forgets words and misuses them -- and yet, having worked in a flower shop for years, she still remembers the meaning of every flower's name. Scrimger says: ""Mystical Rose" started from a picture I had of an old lady talking to God on her deathbed in a hospital. From there I began researching Alzheimer's Disease." This short novel, then, is written as a subtle montage of experiences, a style which Scrimger says is suited to the way our minds work today, with the influences of film and television. "I think more like a filmmaker, using quick cuts. Our eyes are more attuned to video games and Much Music- it has affected the way our minds think. You can't write like Dickens and Melville used to." "Mystical Rose "was his first novel in four years- excerpts were published as he was writing it in the "Ottawa Citizen." The book is sad, but as with Scrimger's previous novel "Crosstown" "There's comedy in places you wouldn't normally expect to find comedy."

About Richard Scrimger

From the age of eight, Richard Scrimger enjoyed spending time in libraries while his parents were still out at work. He also has happy memories of laughing as his father reading "Winnie the Pooh" to him and his brother. He was born in Montreal in 1957, grew up in Scarborough and then downtown Toronto, where he lived until the mid-nineties. He now lives in the small town of Cobourg, Ontario, with his wife, who is a moral theologian and professor, and his four children. He wanted to be a lawyer and started out studying history at the University of Toronto, but switched to English- law meant only reading law books and not having any fun. After university, he went to Europe for a year, waited tables and started to write. "I decided to be a writer in my mid-twenties. It was a decision that I took haphazardly, and ten years later I was an overnight success." He eventually shelved his first novel, but his second, "Crosstown," was published in 1996 and he was hailed by Matt Cohen as a "significant new voice in the new wave of Canadian fiction." A year before, he had attended an intensive one-week program at the Humber College for Writers. It was there that he found he had a talent for writing humour, when a story about going shopping with his kids was enthusiastically received. The piece went on to be published in the "Globe and Mail," developed into a series of similar pieces, and grew into a book, "Still Life with Children." He went back to Humber College to work on "The Nose from Jupiter," his first novel for children (about a tiny alien who takes up residence in a kid's nose, giving him a whole new way to solve his problems). He has since taught twice on the faculty of the Humber College Correspondence Program. The character of Rose, a complex elderly woman looking back to try to make sense of her life, is reminiscent of Margaret Laurence's Hagar Shipley in "The Stone Angel, " Daisy Goodwill in Carol Shields' "The Stone Diaries," and Mrs. Severance in Ethel Wilson's "Swamp Angel." Other books have addressed Alzheimer's in different ways: Michael Ignatieff's very personal novel from 1993, "Scar Tissue," described the effects on the family of a mother's death from Alzheimer's- another award-winning British author, Linda Grant, wrote a non-fiction book about her mother's dementia. However, "Mystical Rose "is fiction, and it is interesting to Rose with other fictional characters looking back over their lives, such as Paul Quarrington's "King Leary," Robert Kroetsch's "The Man from the Creeks," or Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day" (also about a man in service to a wealthy family). As a writer, though, Scrimger has a lot in common with David Eddie, author of the hilarious book about being a stay-at-home Dad, "Housebroken." "I didn't develop work habits as a writer until my children were born. I'd have four hours in front of me for writing, but somehow the coffee wouldn't be hot enough or the pencil wouldn't be sharp enough. I'd sit down, write a sentence and then stroke it out and write another sentence and maybe change the punctuation... When the twins, the first of our four children, were born, suddenly my life had serious focus. The idea of having 40 uninterrupted minutes for writing when the two of them were napping was tremendous." Having children made him focus whenever he had a spare moment to write, in between taking the kids to soccer practice and doing the laundry- it also brought the responsibility of having to bring in money. He continued to work in restaurants until recently- he would write from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., then get up at 6 a.m. Now he divides his time between writing and housework. "Bridget always knows if the writing is going badly by seeing how clean the house is." Scrimger has written several novels for younger readers, and is planning some picture books. He says "I love going around to schools and asking the kids what characters they would like to see come back and how they would rewrite the story." He is perhaps best known for his children's books, and for his humour, which comes naturally. But his novels have a deeply serious side to them. As in his first novel, "Mystical Rose "focuses on a single flawed individual in search of redemption. In "Crosstown," it is an old drunken homeless guy making a pilgrimage of sorts- here, Rose is compared to Virgin Mary, and the book borrows from the Rosary for its structural underpinning. Scrimger calls himself a "lapsed atheist." His family was not religious, but he was always searching for something more, and in secret he studied the New Testament he received from school at the end of Grade Six- later he joined a local church choir. "I talk to God... I derive comfort from the communion of saints. Now I am not, as so many are, particularly drawn to the Virgin Mary...But I do take refuge, in times of sadness or trial, in the litany of the Rosary." The Rosary is a prayer to God by means of a series of meditations on the lives of Jesus and Mary- according to the church, when someone says a Hail Mary they are giving the Virgin Mary a rose- each complete Rosary makes a crown of roses. "There are no words wise or good or deep enough to reach God on their own merit- perhaps the near-numbing repetition of formal entreaty is a legitimate recognition of our own unworthiness and need... I make no claims to consistent or purposeful allegory... But I am interested in the extraordinary possibilities in ordinary life."

Details Book

Author : Richard Scrimger
Publisher : Doubleday Canada
Data Published : 10 April 2001
ISBN : 0385259557
EAN : 9780385259552
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 248 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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