Levine, Sara. Treasure Island!!! Tonga: Europa. Jan. 2011. 176p. ISBN 9781609450618 . pap. $15. LITERARY
Here I must confess an error. Back in August, I listed this book as a memoir; in a conversation with some publicists, I mistook the time-honored fiction-in-the-voice-of-a-quirky-narrator as the real thing. In fact, Levine, who teaches at the Art Institute of Chicago and is evidently a whole lot nicer than her troublesome narrator, has crafted a sassy first novel about a woman needing a life fix who hooks onto Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island as her salvation. After all, there’s so much to learn from hero Jim Hawkins: courage, resolution…and horn-blowing. Clearly, among other things, this rather spoofs the whole heal-myself memoir genre—and I got taken. I really do like this better as fiction, and since Alice Sebold liked it, too, selecting it for publication, you can’t go wrong.