Video: Whatcha Reading, Suzanne Morrison?
“Whatcha Reading?” is a web series from Ron Hogan in which authors recommend a great book.
Suzanne Morrison is the author of Yoga Bitch, a memoir about following her yoga instructors from Seattle to a two-month retreat in Bali, and the surprising things she learned about them (and herself) while she was there. Morrison has also written and performed a dramatic monologue based on her experiences, but the book is not simply an expansion of that material. Instead, she says, she was working on the two versions simultaneously—in fact, she spent a long time trying to tell a fictionalized version of the story before she realized it would be most viable as a memoir. She’s currently working on another memoir about her life before taking that trip to Bali, in which she’ll talk about what it was like to grow up on an island off the Pacific Northwest coast, and about her first great love.
Morrison recommends The Complete Claudine, which collects four short novels written by Colette and first published in France in the early 1900s. The sequence follows Claudine from her teenage years at school through her marriage, including a lesbian affair with her husband’s mistress, and her mentorship of another woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. Colette’s frank descriptions of Claudine’s emerging sexuality has earned her a place in the canon of early feminist fiction.
Morrison also recommends Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which has been called one of the great English-language novels of the twentieth century.
Like Colette, Spark drew upon some of her own experiences for this story about a group of girls under the influence of a powerfully charismatic school teacher, one of whom will ultimately betray her.
(Don’t worry, that’s NOT a spoiler!)
MOVED BY WHAT YOU READ?
Have you read The Complete Claudine or The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie? Do you agree with Morrison’s thoughts? Share your own Thoughts below.
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Elsewhere in inReads: What would Colette think of today’s YA novels?