Thursday, November 01, 2007


Eat the Document, Dana Spiotta, Scribner, 2006, 290 pp

Excellent! Two young political protesters in the early 1970s have to go underground separately when one of their actions makes them wanted criminals. First you get Mary's story: changing her name, trying to live and work below the radar, moving around from place to place, cutting all ties with her parents. Spiotta evokes this life with its loss, loneliness and fear so well that I felt the woman's suffering.

Interspersed are chapters set in late 1990s Seattle with suburban kids doing their own forms of protest, which I think pales in comparison to the scene in the 60s and 70s. As a reader, you see that all these people are tied somehow to the original couple, but the story plays out mysteriously enough that I was pulled along wanting to find out how it all fit together.

A great read with realistic portrayals of both generations through the cultural language, technology and music of the times. I felt involved with each main character and nostalgic (if that is the right word) for the activism and feminism of my young adult years.

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