|My Copy||library paperback|
|First Read||June 14, 2017|
Under the Skin
Under the skin is a scifi novel that reads like a thriller. But the most interesting thing about it is that it reads so much like an immigrant experience. Our heroine is in a strange land, working too much at a boring but maybe dangerous job, barely understanding the culture you're in. She has a vague (or sharp) distaste or disgust at the new culture she's embedded in, but also a feeling of wonder at the bounty and variety of material goods and natural beauties of the new environment.
She has extended discussions about learning how to read the culture - not just the specific language (which she also has to learn), but how to deal with road signs, body language, even how to make change in a store.
There's also a ton of weird relational friction w Isserly's fellow immigrants about degrees of assimilation. She became more like the locals to do her job, but she is ashamed about it and worries what others think of her in-betweenness. This is actually the big plot driver in the book, and more interesting than Isserly's actual mission.
Noted on July 14, 2017