Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hild roundup #5

A few things today in time for Thanksgiving. And, oh, am I thankful! So far, Hild publication has been a dream. There's some good stuff and some, well, a bit head-scratching. As you can see, there are more comparisons to add to our wee competition but I'll do that later. I'll also be collecting all the roundups in one uber-review later. Meanwhile, here are roundups #1, #2, #3, and #4. Enjoy. And have a marvellous Thanksgivvukah.

Chicago Tribune
"Leaving aside my suspicion that neither of those novels contains Griffith's luminous prose, and the fact that neither is set in the early middle ages, I must note that Hild has much less in common with Booker bait like Wolf Hall than with T. H. White's The Once and Future King and George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. / This is a good thing if, like me, you found Wolf Hall a tedious, overwritten mess, or if, like me, you downed the Game of Thrones novels like a — oh, like a flagon of mead or whatever. Critics do love a nice medieval trope."

Neon Tommy
Hild, Jennifer Kuan
"Hild is fresh, rich and engrossing. The fusion of notes of fantasy with history weaves a captivating tale of who Hild might have been, and Griffith's Hild is an enchanting one."

Three Guys One Book
Hild by Nicola Griffith, Judy Krueger
"I have spent the last four days in seventh century Britain so fully engrossed in its brutal and beautiful world that sitting down at my computer feels like I have come back to the future. [...] Her writing is poetic and tuneful, like lyrics to a song."
An Anthology of Clouds
Hild, by Nicola Griffith, Valerie Stivers
"A more perfect cup of witchery does not exist, for those of us who like historical romance but also have literary standards. […] The book is a spectacular accomplishment, and is totally immersive in the details of pre-modern life. Hild’s triumphs as a seer in a hostile king’s court are constructed so smoothly from fear, cunning and circumstance, that they’re as believable to us as they are to her. Griffith also finds convincing ways for Hild to partake in the culture of swords and war, while still being circumscribed as a woman would have been. The rise of the Christian church and driving out of the old gods (Woden!) is as frightening as it’s meant to be. And the character’s sexual awakening [...] a gift, coming from a writer with Griffith’s skill... An amazing book."

Crazy for Books
Review: Hild, by Jennifer
"Novelist Nicola Griffith is the latest to publish a book based on the life of a medieval character. In the recent past several writers including Sigrid Undset, Mary Renault and more recently Hilary Mantel have written books on the life of heroes and heroines of the Middle Age. Mantel even won two Booker prizes for her historic novels."

The Nervous Breakdown
Nicola Griffith: the Self-Interview
Q: If I tried to ask Hild questions, what would happen?
A: Depends on her age. At three she’d study you silently, with great interest, but she wouldn’t see you as a real person. At eight she’d give you a fathomless look that would make you uneasy. At fourteen her eyes would be absolutely impenetrable, but by now you’d be beyond uneasy, because you’d know she was quicker on her feet than you, and more powerful. At sixteen, you’d be fascinated, but frightened: at this point she has a reputation for the uncanny, for killing people or having sex with them, and no way of predicting which. And as she’s the niece of the most powerful king in Britain, it would not pay to even try to mess with her. Towering mind, a will of adamant, and a mother who is beautiful, subtle, and ruthless. You’d have to be very, very nice to her and very, very careful.
Q: Ah. I’ll ask you things instead, then.
A: Sounds like a plan.

Windy City Times
Nicola Griffith on Hild, a novel with a bisexual protagonist by Samantha Caiola
Q: What you want people to come away with when they close the back cover of the book? What do you want them to keep with them?
A: Everything. I want this book to feel like their own memory. I want them to shut the book and think 'yes, that's how it was, in that time with those people'. Almost like it really happened, like a news report. I want it to be fiction in such an immersive way, that Hild's experience is their experience, her joys are their joys. Her lessons are their lessons. … It's like Google Glass—an overlay on their world and an internal change. I want them to see the world differently.

The Christian Century recommends five fiction titles, including Hild and James McBride's NBA-winning The Good Lord Bird

And finally, for your delectation and delight, a selection of reader photos, the first from Wendy in Colorado, who enjoys Hild on the first snowy day of the year with a chocolate porter called Shake. The others are via Twitter, and should be self-explanatory.

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