Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Why Did I Ever

Mary Robison

I picked this up sort of by accident -- when I thought I was taking a particular class this semester, I bounced through the library, gathering up the reading list and stacking all the books on my desk to check out, very efficiently. Then I realized that I wouldn't be taking that class, and wanted to toss all the books back on the reshelve cart in a piqued manner, and possibly do some huffing away.

But I poked through the stack first, and decided to read a couple of them on my own, and Why Did I Ever, as you may have guessed because you are very clever, was one of them. And I am so glad it turned up in that stack - this is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

It's a collection of fragments, over five hundred or so of them, that are prose poems in the best way - not the Jeanette Fucking Winterson dark soul of the night O Love! kind of fucking poetry, but the kind of poetry that is every word chosen carefully and every word incisive and perfect and sharp.

Robison is doing something really interesting, using form to indicate function - the narrator's fractured attention span because of ADD and because of the things going on in her life, but mostly I was arrested by the language and how much I loved the narrator who is horribly flawed but just a terrific character.

This is really, really funny, and really, really just sad and tragic. And really funny.


Blogger Tao Lin said...

good book

12:10 AM  

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