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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Chinese New Year Read: The summer before the Dark

My holiday read was this Doris Lessing novel “The Summer before the Dark.” It was fascinating. I wonder if it has been turned into a film yet and googled it and didn’t see any –yet. I see myself writing the screenplay, Jane Campion the director. The ideal actress would be Julianne Moore as Kate and Amanda Siegfried as Maureen but they have done similar characters together, it would be too formulaic. I would go with another actress, someone like Diane Lane as Kate and Santiago Cabrera as Jeffrey.

It would be fun to be on set in Istanbul, London, Spain. I enjoyed the bits on international travel, travelers, holiday as I was on the road myself. Even more interesting were the themes of growing old, female identity based on youth and attractiveness, marriage, infidelity, motherhood, freedom and loneliness. A searing passage into middle age, the mourning of lost youth. I could sense this, what is just around the corner as I read this on the eve of my 37th birthday. It’s a woman’s midlife crisis in London early 1970’s.

Although it takes place in the 70’s I think these themes as well as the issues of socioeconomic inequality and street protests particularly poignant. Also the storyline of working for the UN, these well-educated, over paid policy makers still relevant. The entire story could easily be taken place now.

As I was reading Kate’s journey I asked myself will she pull herself together by the end of it, when she reunites with her family? If not, then what? I also appreciate Lessing’s admiration for the importance of dreams. Kate’s dream life is so much a part of her journey, I get that, I have always talked about my dreams. It would be fun for a filmmaker to incorporate that whole seal dream motif, I see the snow, hear the Icelandic, otherworldly music. It is shocking this hasn’t been made into film yet. I might just write the screenplay as a sort of writing exercise, my new creative project for the New Year.

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