Thursday, February 21, 2008

No One Belongs Here More than You Review

No One Belongs Here More Than You, a compilation of stories by Miranda July follows the lives of women whose stories belong together in this book; all of them face the struggle to be loved and accepted for themselves. Sisteen stories tell the lives of sixteen very different women whose in an overly personal tone, so the reader feels as though thye have intruded upon these secret lives.
The characters are flawed; they give swimming lessons in their living rooms, they believe in delusions about marrying their next-door neighbor, and fall into the sex industry. They have problems; they have arguments with their lovers and friends, they withhold "I love yous," and they settle for unhappiness. But the are all so likeable; the reader's heart pains with each dispointment they face. Their stories are told in such a personal manner that the reader feels that these stories are not about fictional characters, but about their friends. Perhaps these stories could even be about us, as the readers.
The greatest story from the collection could very well be "This Person," a story from an anonymous perspective about...a person. This person could be anyone, they could be the very person reading the story. Follows is an excerpt:
"An Olympic medal might redeem this person in the eyes of everyone this person has ever known. But no such contest exists, so there will be no redeeming. This person mourns the fact that she has ruined her one chance to be loved by everyone; as this person climbs into bed, the weight of this tragedy seems to bear down upon this person's chest. And it is a comforting weight, almost human in heft. This person sighs. This person's eyes begin to close, this person sleeps."
Can we not understand these feelings put forth in such an honest, human way. The language is simple, the moment described is singular. But, somewhere, between these modest elements, comes forth a statement so powerful that we can feel what "This Person" feels. We feel a cry of human loneliness, desire for something greater, and the tragedy that exists in this moment of expression.
Imagine sixteen stories of similar expressions, all echoing pure human feelings of wants, needs, vulnerability, heartbreak, and insecurities. Sixteen stories which, together, paint an honest collage of emotion. These tender confessionals work so well as a collection because the thread of humanity holding them together.
This book fell into my hands at a White Elephant Christmas party; its arrival could not have been suprising. Reading it was suprising; a collection of confessions from people, from "This Person," from my friends, aquaitances, enemies, and even myself told a great story.


Temporary Home

This blogsite is our temporary home while our website undergoes an extreme makeover of epic proportions (shifted septums, pacemakers, calf implants, dialysis, a fancy wig, contacts -- the works).

This was our old home, and while it is a bit dated, it's a good source of info regarding recent issues and the history of Prism Review.

Updates will follow regarding our new home. ETA summer 2009.