Reading July in August

I just read No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, a woman known for her work in performance art and films. Several of the short stories in this book were published in reputable journals such as Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Zoetrope. This only made me more envious of her.

Most of the stories are a simple prose with interesting stories. Well, maybe it’s not simple prose. It’s hard to explain, but the prose cuts right to the bone. The situations are organic and harsh. As I read, I wondered, “Where did she come up with these ideas?”

I personally enjoyed the first sentences to many of her stories. For example, “The Swim Team” starts:

This is the story I wouldn’t tell you when I was your girlfriend.

There’s so much going on in that simple sentence. The narrator is addressing a past partner and finally letting out some secret that she couldn’t before. But why?

The story becomes more unpredictable from there, and you have to just follow along. And it’s amazing! Coaching three elderly people how to swim when there are no pools or lakes in Nevada?

I like stories where I have to read and reread them and I always find something new, another nugget that’s important to the whole story. I want to share these stories with friends and then call them up to hear their thoughts.

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