Image provided by Rowan Flaherty

Rowan Flaherty

Affiliation with UVic English: Undergraduate Student, B.A. second year

Special Book: Mascara, Ariel Dorfman

When did you first read this book: ~2002

Which sentence from this book has special significance for you?

“As for me, I am still enclosed in this kingdom I built for myself.
When you think of it, it wasn’t due to my memory. It was due to my hands. Because adults always told me, as they have told every child in the world, that we arrive here with hands that belong to us. The difference is that I always knew it was not true.”

What does the sentence mean to you?

I found this book in our downstairs bookshelf and read it when it was not, apparently, what I should have been reading – seventh grade? I remember hiding it guiltily under my pillow as if it was pornography, though I didn’t really have a concept of pornography was (or what it was for) at that point. It was just so adult, there was kissing and everything. And it seemed that there were things I didn’t understand in the words themselves. I knew that the book (like its narrator) was mysterious. Reading it was like trying to think of a face that had no memorable features. And I wanted desperately to figure it out.

Oddly enough, that was around the same time I stopped doing a lot of things I was told I should do. Hmm.