Tag Archives: Book Review

#mommyblogging with Ferrante

I raced through the final Neapolitan novel, as forewarned, guided by the suspicion that there is no Lila Cerullo.

That:

  • Lila and Elena are so thoroughly twinned
  • Ferrante’s deftness with a style many have tried to name and I’ll try calling “hallucinatory realism,” ie the portrayal of the hallucinatory state as fully enveloped in the real, is well known
  • And Lila is so extremely Large and In Charge as to have exceeded the bounds of the human

that Lila makes the most sense as Elena’s fantasy other self. Not as a functioning, psychologically realistic, humanlike character. Rachel Cusk also said this.

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Mini Reviewlets: Munro Immersion

The blog has been more fallow than its usual don’t-call-it-climate-change-it’s-just-fallow state because I’m working on a long term writing project. On Alice Munro.

For money.

I haven’t been paid for my writing since we thought our computers would snap us back to the Iron Age. That dark millennial moment I took a “break” from  journalism to “get smarter” in grad school.

And on Alice Munro? Even cooler than the fluff piece I wrote back then on the Stanford Linear Accelerator. Which is to say: quantum cool.

So here’s a teaser of Munroviana to tide us over.

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Book Revewlets: Girls! Girls! Girls!

The Semplica Girl Diaries,” y’all.

One of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Anywhere. Anyhow.

George Saunders quadruple dog dared “The Gift of the Magi,” plunking it into the suburbs, replacing romantic love with parental love, wringing such pathos out of the ghastliest aspects of late capitalism.

And the story absolutely gets girls. Spoilers ahoy.

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Book Reviewlets: Girl in a Band, by Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon confirmed my adolescent suspicions that society shakes down into strata of cool. And that the people I love most not only occupy the same social latitude. They’re also all best friends.

Mixing drinks, sharing babysitters, dating each other before hardening and wizening into the wrinkle years.

Kim Gordon dated Danny Elfman, y’all. In high school.

And she’s best friends now with Carrie Brownstein and Amy Poehler?!

Thus the rusty gears of the universe click into nearly Renaissance degrees of harmony.

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Sometimes We Read Instead of Write

Mini Book Reviewlets, y’all:

Mermaids in Paradise and George Bush, the Dark Horse of Love. Lydia Millet.

I will unapologetically compare these books to Mark Twain. The fully formed narrators who parlay sparkling ironic narration. The satire of US culture. The laughing to keep from crying. Why doesn’t Lydia Millet get more magazine covers? All the magazine covers!

All of them. Continue reading

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Book Revewlets: The Neapolitan Novels

Looking for a nice beach read? A story about the lives and loves of two best friends, freckled and smartypantsed? Imaginative and precocious? Getting into scrapes?

Getting beaten by their dads, brothers and husbands? Getting raped by their neighbors?

In picturesque postwar Italy?

Nothing like a trilogy about patriarchal brutality and poverty to help a Thinker for Hire unwindulax and enjoy the carcinogenic Denver sunshine.

In earnest. Elena Ferrante’s novels are just what I needed this summer. A beach read for the overhot Rocky Mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

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