Friday, 30 October 2009

short stories

I have just finished reading 'No one belongs here more than you.' by Miranda July (a strikingly multi-talented person). I am not sure what to write about these stories. Most are written in the first person and the characters in them are mostly slightly dysfunctional, with very strange relationships with the people and the world around them. They are often people unable to acknowledge or articulate the thoughts and feelings that they have. They are stories in which nothing happens but are really about the strange places that people go in their imagination. The style comes across almost a little stream-of-consciousness. What is intriguing is that she looks at the world in quite a unique way and sees things that most other people have not even thought of. I liked the one about the woman who has a port wine stain removed from her face, but finds that it continues to dominate her thoughts and how she feels about herself, the lack of it tainting her relationships, until it strangely reappears. I think my favourite is 'How to tell stories to children', about a woman who develops a very strong bond with her friend's child, becoming an alternate parent, a refuge from the real parents who's relationship is fraught and self-indulgent. You get the definite feeling that the adult needs and gets as much out of the relationship as the child does, and when it turns sour it is she that loses most. The stories are all quite emotionally intense, people needing something from the others in their lives, or even from total strangers. They are the kind of stories that make you feel very normal and ordinary, and grateful for it.
Here is another baby picture, just because babies are lovely.

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