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Lobby 2. Welcome The Reading Room topic #15
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Subject: "Mara and Dann" First topic | Next topic
Mesg #16 "Mara and Dann"
Author WOO     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jan 26th 2008
1710 posts
Date Tue Jun-02-09 10:03 AM



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I am currently reading Mara and Dann by Doris Lessing, which is the best, most literate fantasy book I have ever read. The Nobel laureate has written lots of books with social and political themes, but no other fantasy that I know about. I am using it as my guide at present because she is dealing with a journey by children with many similarities to my own Escape from the Land of Mist but hers is so much better that I doubt I would have had the courage to begin my book had I read hers first. For all that it is fantasy, it is a serious book, no escape from human cruelty here.

The story takes place in Africa, thousands of years in the future. Most artifacts from a high tech, war-obsessed past have disappeared, but a few vestiges remain, wonders to the most primitive people, coveted by the more powerful and sophisticated. A new ice age grips Europe, and Africa suffers from a long drought and political instability. Lessing knows Africa and its people intimately, so the description resonates with authenticity.

When all water and all food completely disappear from the primitive village where the two children had been hidden until their teens, they must venture north alone to survive. At the time she leaves with Dann, Mara is 19, near death, so starved she is taken for a boy of 15.

On their trip north they meet with kindness and cruelty, survive by Dann's Darwinian acts of selfishness tempered by Mara's sweet humanity. They live in a harsh world where spiders are as big as dogs and giant scorpions and carnivorous lizards threaten humans, but their most fearful enemies are other humans who compete with them for food and water.


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Welcome to The Reading Room [View all] , zette, Mon Jun-01-09 09:45 PM
  Mara and Dann, WOO, Jun 02nd 2009 #1
RE: Mara and Dann, Ellsea, Jul 04th 2009, #3
RE: Welcome to The Reading Room, riotthill, Jun 13th 2009, #2
RE: Welcome to The Reading Room, WOO, Jan 06th 2010, #4
RE: Welcome to The Reading Room, RavenCorbie, Jan 06th 2010, #5
      RE: Welcome to The Reading Room, WOO, Jan 07th 2010, #6
RE: Welcome to The Reading Room, Imaginationonpaper, Jun 07th 2010, #7
RE: Welcome to The Reading Room, ceige, Mar 06th 2012, #9
What I am reading now, storywebber, Feb 06th 2011, #8

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