Books to read together

It just happens that sometimes you read a couple of books and realise that they complement each other perfectly. They can also help develop understanding about one or both of the books. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it really is worth noting it.

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields and Real Estate by Deborah Levy

The whole purpose of Shields book is to say that ordinary women’s lives are as relevant to record as anyone’s but that when they are (written by men?) they often tell us no more about the person and this is what this book manages to do. We know loads about all the people around Daisy but nothing about her wants and desires. Levy continues this idea in her autobiography in her search for the person she wants to be and in the search for writing better characters. She talks about women in books written by men who are blank or unknown like an outline on the page.