bells are ringing

| On
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I was reading a little bit about Kate Atkinson's new book Life After Life and it rang a little bell on a string in my brain attached to Lucy Ellmann's Dot in the UniverseI've read Dot, have yet to read L.A.L. (because it's not out yet!) and have got no idea if there is any more in common between them than female British authors whose work I enjoy and reincarnation* - but I look forward to finding out!

*They also apparently share POIGNANCY, according to the jacket copy below. Dot is "a hilarious and poignant journey" and LAL is "darkly comic, startlingly poignant." dun dun DUN. (so excited to read LAL, and it turns out Lucy Ellmann has a new book out this year, too! You'd better believe I'll be reading that one asap as well.)

Here's the dust jackets and the descriptions lifted directly from Goodreads (linked above):

Dot in the Universe: It's your worst nightmare: instead of being dead, you're alive!

Dot thinks she's perfect, with her blond hair, pointy nose, and pink skin. She lives on the east coast of England with her magnificent hubby, cooking him gourmet meals and crashing the car. So one day she decides to End It All. But-Dot BLOWS it!

After a brief sojourn in the underworld (populated by "underaged, underdeveloped underlings all, understated in their undershirts and UNDERSTANDING VERY LITTLE"), Dot is reincarnated, first as a possum, and then as a girl in Ohio. A hilarious and poignant journey through our puny universe, this is a masterpiece of disquiet.

(this is a brief interlude in the middle of the page to keep the pictures from running into each other. I'll also mention that I've had Icona Pop's I LOVE IT stuck in my head all day and I don't even care because I LOVE IT.)

Life after Life:  On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.

Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best, playing with time and history, telling a story that is breathtaking for both its audacity and its endless satisfactions.

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