Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Fowler's latest is a study in the rights of man, with man being stretched to include all living beings. The story of a girl raised with a chimp by psychologist parents narrates her experiential awareness of the emotional sensitivity that speaks so eloquently from behind the eyes of the animals we love.

Fowler has done her research and the novel is scattered with references to actual studies conducted similar to the one our narrarator grew up with. Animal rights advocacy is threaded throughout the story personified by her older brother who is on the lam from the FBI.

KJF also wrote Sarah Canary, which I enjoyed a few years ago as a light read. In SC, KJF again addresses issues of inequality, this time for women and Chinese in the Washington territories of the 1870's.

Fowler seems to be a writer who can tell a good story but also has something important to share with her readers: her ability to question the status quo and consider "the man behind the curtain."