Many years ago I read Emma Donoghue's book Slammerkin. A historical fiction novel it is based on a murder which took place in 1763 in the Welsh countryside. Slammerkin, a word used to describe a 'loose woman', follows the life of a young woman who raised in poverty ultimately makes a living as a prostitute.
Although the book follows a storyline that feels familiar, I found that Ms. Donoghue's writing is vivid and unique enough that almost ten years later I am able to remember specifics about the story and characters. I found this novel to be not unlike that of another favorite Canadian author of mine, Alias Grace by Margret Atwood. Slammerkin can be raunchy at times. The life of a prostitute is painful both literally and figuratively. The character sustains gang rape and gonorrhea both of which are described in painful details.
I've recently heard a lot of buzz about Room- Ms. Donoghue's latest novel. I have seen people reading it everywhere in libraries, airports, pools and beaches. My MIL bough me a copy of this novel and I read it over the course of two days. Told from the perspective of a five year old it tells the story of a mother and son. The story reminds me of Plato's Allegory of The Cave in which people take something which is illusion, as real- if they know no other way. As a mother I found this story to be fascinating in terms of the education we provide for our children and doing the best with the resources we have.
Emma Donoghue was born and raised in Ireland however resides in London, Ontario where Dr J and I both completed our undergraduate studies. She lives with her husband and two children and has an impressive biography.