Stone Mattress
Books, Short stories

Layers and Layers of Experience: “Stone Mattress” by Margaret Atwood

Eventually, our life experiences shape who we become. As it is with human nature, some of these experiences we can control, while others we can’t, so we react. However, the ways we choose to react with love, hurt, or forgive are all our choices.

Stone Mattressis Margaret Atwood’s latest collection of short fiction that she calls ‘tales’ rather than ‘short stories’. The first three tales are connected by narrations and reflections of a poet’s two wives, and lover. While the other stories do not share characters or plot, the entire book is connected through major themes of aging and old age. In “Stone Mattress”, Atwood includes characters that are in their senior years, reflecting on what life has offered, making amends, or retributions.

Continue Reading
Books

Violence During Slavery: Twelves Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup’s memoir ‘Twelves Years a Slave’ has received notable recognition in contemporary media. Among the many themes he explores, violence is central, narrating accounts of his and other slaves’ experiences in the hands of white slave owners. While it is apparent that violence was part of slavery in America, most slaveholders tried to deny this, masking it with such explanations as the slave tried to escape with every chance they got. Violence was a common aspect of slavery, used to achieve capture, punishment, silence, and submission in Northup’s narrative.

Continue Reading