Friday, September 5, 2008

Fiction Friday: Cycler

Cycler is by Lauren McLaughlin, and I want to read it almost entirely (well, entirely) because of this blog entry from Scott Westerfeld (author of Peeps, Uglies etc). In it, he IM's with Lauren McLaughlin (what a great format/entry to show students as a type of text/review!). (If you're not sure what IM means, it's instant message - go look at the blog entry and All Will Be Clear).

I've read Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness several times and found it a challenging and vaguely unsettling read, uncovering as it does our innate expectations about gender. Sounds like this one could be another such exploration.

Here's the beginning of Scott Westerfeld's blog entry about the book:

Early last year, I got to read the unfinished manuscript of a book called Cycler, by Lauren McLaughlin. It was about a girl named Jill who has a problem: she changes into a boy four days a month.

Obviously, this isn’t the best way to go through puberty, what with all the identity issues and stuff. So with the help of her parents, she’s managed to keep her transformations hidden. In fact, she’s repressed her memories of being a boy to the point where her male self, Jack, has developed his own personality–and he’s very much a boy.

A boy who’s getting really tired of being hidden . . .

Needless to say, the book was really awesome, and I wound up blurbing it:

Artfully fractured and wickedly smart. A brilliant screwball comedy about love, self knowledge, and the secret identities inside all of us.

Picture from the blog entry.

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