[Solnit] belongs to no institution or organization, and her work often has the idiosyncrasies of an autodidact. Her outsider tendencies are even present in her style: Her circuitous, associative, indirect mode of argument doesn’t conform to the standard assertion–evidence–analysis routine.
Each piece contains multitudes: snippets of memoir, paragraphs of exegesis, fragments of history, melancholy, joy. It’s a good book for readers who like to think as they read, and an excellent corrective for those of us who may have fallen out of the habit.
Alcatraz Island, understandably, does not bill itself as a place to spend twenty-eight dollars to get really depressed about a country’s piss-poor priorities regarding human rights.
The campus had a support system for students with disabilities, international students, and English-language learners, but little attention was given to the needs of the first-generation, working-class/working-poor, or rural students who made up a sizable part of the campus.
There's a pleasant familiarity to the plot of Emma Straub's debut novel, "Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures," whose protagonist's life traverses the arc of a Hollywood biopic: early tragedy, rise to stardom, dalliance with addiction and finally, tentative happiness in old age. But here is something new: The superstar is nice.
Praised for the narrative economy of his first novel, "The Cradle," Somerville adopts a more expansive approach in "This Bright River." The book seesaws through time and space, and, like any good video game, has enough side stories and dead-end leads to feel immersive.
TL;DR: the boss doesn’t offer to pay Hannah for her work and rescinds his offer to read her manuscript once she finishes it. “But who will read it if you’re not here?” he says. Hahahaha. Ya burnt, 23-year-old memoirist.
This tone is remarkable in its seamlessness and verve, carrying forward DeWitt's flat, textbook satire without falter. This satire is one without a straight man or voice of reason, either -- rather than being repelled by the madness that surrounds him, Joe is the engineer of it. A certain type of reader will find this deadpan cycle of profitability very funny.
Instead of writing, I was watching television. Sometimes I took breaks from the television to Google Reporting neighbors for not shoveling sidewalks—Minneapolis.
Step seven: Feel very satisfied that although you did not actually destroy any literature or technically suppress anyone’s voice (like that stupid patriarchy), the Naipaul novels are unlikely to tempt any potential readers in their current condition.
Dorm Crew is actually a good shorthand for the class situation at Harvard. To some people the service is totally invisible, and to most of the people doing it (at least, to me) it is a window into a world that is equally invisible. A world where you’d abandon a brand new Burberry scarf ($325).
Ray's narratives often proceed in a nonlinear, mosaic fashion, a structure that at its best has the effect of galvanizing a story's scenes into genuine emotion.
Hair Stylist #1: Grays, you know. They’re so crazy! Getting older is crazy. Everything changes.
Me: I’m 26.
Low expectations are not a recipe for good self-care. You get sour; you drink too much wine; you stop reading because everything you read makes you even more sour; you go on diatribes against successful young writers in the kitchens at parties. You definitely are not working out.
So, if this moment marks Jeremy’s turn toward recovery, his first foray into an emotion other than sadness, we can assume again the faulty model that as time (t) passes, grief (g) declines until the general level of human malaise (m) is reached, which we will call the equilibrium solution.
I’ll tell Carlo that I cheated on him today. It’s very easy. All I have to do is say, “Carlo, I slept with your brother.” Easy. Very, very easy. Just six words.
No: “My roommate has scabies.”
No: “It’s just really hard to focus on your class when I really want to be with my boyfriend in Europe.”
No: “I have scabies.”
My greetings, future lover! Your countenance is that of a weary angel, and your tight-gripped travel mug a wonder of the metallurgical arts. Allow me to redistribute these various tomes, so that you may occupy the seat adjacent to my own.
In the end it's kind of amusing to watch the promotional hoopla for The Passage (not a result of the book's quality, of course, but rather Cronin's this-is-why-publishing-is-a-dying-industry sky-high advance), and to picture the frenzied business team that's responsible for making a profit on the book saying, "You paid this guy HOW MUCH, NOW?"
Notable Claims: Novels are boring. Memoir is boring. Narrative is tedious. Fragmentation is interesting. Disorientation is interesting. Writing at the margins of a genre is interesting, “good.” Reality television is a gauntlet toward which writers of fiction must respond. Jessica Simpson typifies the new celebrity.