Canada vs. Australia [Women's World Cup of Literature: Semifinals]
I’m flipping the schedule this week, and instead of posting the results from Germany vs. Colombia today, we’re going with Canada, represented by the incredibly famous Margaret Atwood up against Australia, represented by debut novelist Hannah Kent. The Germany-Colombia match (which is incredibly close at the moment, by the way), will go up tomorrow, with the WWCOL Championship taking place on Friday.
Before we get to Atwood vs. Kent, here’s a new bracket for all of you keeping track at home:
Australia’s Burial Rites by Hannah Kent got to this point by first beating Sweden and Camilla Läckberg’s The Stranger and then upending Nigeria and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah before defeating Cameroon’s Dark Heart of the Night by Léonora Miano by a score of 4-2.
Canada’s Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood made the semis by defeating Dubravka Ugresic’s The Ministry of Pain and then Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries by a combined score of 6-3, earning Atwood a bye into the final four.
So, here we go:
Hannah Chute: Canada
You know from the very beginning of both of these books that terrible things are going to happen to everyone, but Atwood manages her characters with a grace and humor that Kent just doesn’t have (yet). Plus, I’m a sucker for lushly imaginative world-building.
M. Lynx Qualey: Canada
Compared to Oryx & Crake, Burial Rites seems exceptionally ordinary.
Sal Robinson: Canada
Atwood’s tale of bioengineering gone very, very wrong handily beats out Kent’s turgid historical melodrama; any novel where a character says “But we are peasants” goes straight into my personal trash compactor. Go Canada!
Margaret Carson: Canada
The recent appearance of “pluots” (a merger of plums and apricots) at my local Farmers Market made me wonder: is this the result of grafting, forced seed fusion, DNA splicing? Fruit mash-ups still on my mind, I picked up Oryx & Crake and discovered with delight that Margaret Atwood has taken this all to the logical next level, i.e. dystopia, with pigoons (pig + human), wolvogs (wolf + dog), rakunks (raccoon + skunk), snats (can you guess?) churned out by OrganInc., the biolab from Hell. With its deep bench of interspecies players, Atwood’s wild, entertaining ride to Extinctathon triumphs over Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites.
Lizzy Siddal: Canada
You could say I have season tickets to both these teams, and I was very happy to reread both for the WWCOL. Both played as well as I had come to expect. Canada scores the winner though by being a spell-binding one-sitting read even on third outing.
Lori Feathers: Canada
Although I found Burial Rites to be a more enjoyable reading experience and its characters more relatable, the imaginative genius of Oryx and Crake is nothing short of stunning. Atwood’s original, rich storytelling skills are on full display.
And there you go. Atwood comes to the semifinals and destroys. She’ll meet up with either Alina Bronsky (Germany) or Laura Restrepo (Colombia) on Friday.