1,331 Times

That’s approximately how often I’ve thought about a character in Margaret Atwood’s 1989 novel, Cat’s Eye. It was not one of her best books, and the theme – that the friendship between girls often glints with cruelty – was actually repellent to me.

Yet I think about it almost every time I do the laundry.

Why? Because one of the characters in the novel was a fiber artist, and Atwood’s description of how she created works of beauty from the soft, multi-colored dryer lint that everyone else discards has never left me.

In a book I didn’t love and barely remember, Atwood created a character who springs to life whenever I do a routine and recurring chore. That’s powerful writing.

What about you? Do you have any characters who haunt you?