Fiction, Recommended books

I Have Voice Envy

no-one-belongs-here-more-than-youMiranda July is totally giving me voice envy.  Here is a taste:

“What most people would do in my situation is go to their boyfriend’s house.  They would go there and cry and be handed tissues and cry some more and never stop to think that they should really be laughing and smiling joyfully because their boyfriend is an actual physical being on the same plane of reality as them.  I know what I’m talking about here, I wrote a whole book on this subject that Madeleine L’Engle’s husband once said had promise.”

 All I have to say is whoa.  If I ever meet Miranda July it will be very hard for me not to fall at her feet Wayne’s-World style chanting we are not worthy, even if I don’t have a Garth-like sidekick to do it with me and make it slightly less embarassing.

My favorite part of the above excerpt is that at first you assume that the narrator is just bemoaning her lack of a boyfriend, but you quickly realize, no, she is actually talking about the challenges of her romantic relationship with an entity from another plane. 

The amazing voice got me turning the pages quickly, but at times the stories were so intense I had to put it down and let the emotional impact sink in.  “Something that Needs Nothing” and “Mon Plaisir” were two of the most heart-breakingly powerful stories I’ve read in a long time.  I still have to shake off the chills when I think of certain parts of “Mon Plaisir” – just the story of an ordinary couple whose relationship is slowly deteriorating, but it captures those moments of disconnect and alienation so well it’s terrifying.  There’s a deep loneliness behind the quirky voice in many of these tales, but also hope.  Thanks to Peter Ball for the recommendation and the gift (in honor of our shared bday).

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