Teaching Notes for 26 Abductions:
Use in the classroom to discuss: gathered images; verbal and visual texts; the interplay of word and image; schematics; relationship between form and content; narrative threads; motherhood; parenthood; partnership; pregnancy; disease narratives; grief narratives; organic growth and decay; lyrical writing.
Pairs well with The Coupon Thief, Surviving in Drought, In Transit (forthcoming).
26 Abductions by Maya Sonenberg
Everything in our lives can be taken away, abducted, but the story of your life is how you deal with the loss. Lina was once a woman who was in one piece. Now, she is incised with the words her father, her husband, and her son cannot say—and with the words that replace their absences. Told in twenty-six portions, 26 Abductions offers no avenues of escape. Instead, 26 Abductions catalogues the ways in which the body, like a language, attempts to hold the triple blows of childhood, motherhood, and marriage. Using words and images traced from a turn-of-the-century medical textbook, Sonenberg’s book is innovative, poignant, and will take away everything about literature you thought you knew.
Maya Sonenberg is the author of the story collections Cartographies (winner of the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature) and Voices from the Blue Hotel. More recent fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Web Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, New Ohio Review, The Literarian, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. Her writing has received numerous prizes, including grants from the Washington State Arts Commission and King County 4Culture. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Washington, and lives in Seattle with her family.