Book description

Book info

Author
Title
eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
PublisherSpiegel & Grau
File size7.1 Mb
GanreShort Stories
Release date 01.08.2008
ISBN9780385524391
Pages count208
Book rating4.37 (256 votes)
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Dude. This is the most Iowa Writers' Workshop book I have ever read, and when I was a little baby creative writing litfic zine self-publishing undergrad baby, I read a lot of Iowa Writers' Workshop books.

It's like, Jesus, I know that that place produces different kinds of writers, but if you wanted to boil what they do down into one book, this would be it. Seemingly innocuous observations that are actually full of meaning, if you really totally think about it? Check. A window into cultures that aren't America's, but which tell us a lot about ourselves? Check. A bunch of 20 to 22 page stories, lots of restrained character development, no queers anywhere, tension in het marriages that make you want to bang your head against the wall because, duh, you people just need to communicate directly, just one time, and then I get super frustrated because is this really what other people are like- is this what I used to be like (and sometimes still am like, when I am not on top of my shit), before I decided that heteronormativity was poison and figured out that I needed to be way more intentional and explicit about my shit? Check, check, check, check. I get it! You are constrained by unfortunate circumstances! Bummer! I wish the Cloverfield monster would show up and kill somebody so I could feel some sense of catharsis, instead of quiet, boring, yearning desperation.

I mean, sure, clearly, it's well-put together, and clearly she can put a sentence together, structure a story. So what? I'm left feeling totally empty and annoyed, and weirded out about how much I would have been into this ten years ago, when I thought this sort of thing was the pinnacle of How To Write Stories, and had secret fantasies of going to Iowa to learn how to do it. Gross!

——

Oh! I just saw this gets compared to Jhumpa Lahiri in its blurb. That's funny, because I always think I should read Ms. Lahiri, but when I was 21 and I tried to I had almost the exact same response to Interpreter of Maladies that I am having to One More Year. So.

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