Monday, June 03, 2013

Reader's Diary #1009- Hannah Garrard: In the Hands of the Goddess

Even had I not liked Hannah Garrard's writing, I still would have enjoyed her short story "In the Hands of the Goddess." The first time I've ever heard of the haenyo, I find this South Korean culture of "sea women" fascinating. As divers, these women had become the main breadwinners and in certain areas, the gender roles were reversed from the majority of the world, with the men raising the families and the women working. (Clearly I'm not the first to find this intriguing, as a profitable tourist industry also developed around it.)

Reading "In the Hands of the Goddess" at first reminded me of sociology courses from my university days. Or of a National Geographic article. In any case, I'd have been satisfied to leave it at that. However, the fictional story that Garrard has written over it is compelling in its own right. Like in instances in real life and in numerous stories, books, TV shows, and movies, women have tried to break through the barrier of stereotypically gender-based employment, a boy in Garrard story, wishes to dive like his mother and grandmother. He's met with resistance and the consequences are high. It's especially complicated by larger, external society...

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Loni said...

I'm really interested in this type of story. I'll have to put it on my list to read.

I read an interesting/weird short story this week.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I definitely have to read this one as well. It's a fascinating community.