My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki
When a writer holds the task of writing a full blown novel in their hands, it is within their control to create whatever world they want. Whether it be a Tolkien forest, or a futuristic Westerfeld, their creativity is the mould in which the concept is formed. In Ruth L. Ozeki's award winning novel My Year of Meats, she has taken the hidden secrets of America (which is a rather banal sort of palette these days) and has given it a multidisciplinary twist.
The plot involves two women of Japanese ancestry, polarised so as to create sheer opposites in terms of character. When I read this book many years ago, I found the story weave itself in a fine interlacing sort of way until by the end of it, you have a fine fabric to ponder. One of the characters, being a documentary maker, goes about her project involving a controversial aspect of the American meat industry. At the same time, Ozeki is the documentary maker, only instead of filming it directly, she writes a much more emotional and feminist novel. At some stage, everything starts to reveal itself, and you see the character reach a mellow climax - a revelation. Fortunately, it doesn't take the form of a Dan Brown surprise. It would definitely be something to read again. If you haven't read it, I suggest it for an eye opening holiday read!
CC note: hopefully there will be more reviews in the future, all to do with different forms of interdisciplinary creative energy.