No one belongs here more than you.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007
by Miranda July

I read this back in August and wasn't ready to write about it then, so I put it on hold again with the thought that by the time I got it back (there were a lot of holds), I would be ready. Now it is one day overdue.

Five things:

1. I read this collection of stories in one sitting. Well, almost one sitting. There was a two hour break somewhere in the middle.

2. I wish I knew why I didn't like it more. She writes really well, but with the exception of a couple of stories I didn't feel like I was connecting with anything. Maybe a phrase or a fleeting emotion here or there, but a lot of it felt weird for the sake of weird, which is normally not a problem -- I like weird and I do think she's on to something about the innate strangeness of being alive -- but it just misses for me. I wish I felt like reading it again so I could try to identify WHY. Reading it was often like petting a cat the wrong way.

3. Her name is beautiful.

4. She used to live in Portland and the city makes cameos throughout this collection. (also in her movie, which I was similarly conflicted about.) Fact of Dubious Interest: two locations featured (Fabric Depot and Mr. Peeps/ The Peep Hole) are right across the street (SE 122nd Ave) from each other.

5. The Swim Team is wonderful, generous and strange -- definitely one of my favorite stories. How To Tell Stories To Children is difficult, raw and complicated but stuck in my head a long time after I'd read it.
7 comments on "No one belongs here more than you."
  1. Miranda July used to be in Portland. That is why she sounds familiar. I am sure WW must have written her up a gazillion times. But what movies is she responsible for? I do like her name, I must say. And I think I will reserve this book as I am curious about something you read that you didn't like all that much.

  2. They did write her up, I believe at least one gazillion times. Her movie is called You, Me and Everyone We Know. Parts of it I liked really well and parts of it I did NOT. I'm beginning to suspect that's just how I respond to her stuff. It feels calculated to me in a way that bugs, but then I get mad at myself because MOST things are calculated to some degree or another. I mean, it's not like the publishing world is awash with a series of first drafts! I'm glad you're going to read it -- you can tell me what you think and maybe I'll figure out what my deal is.

  3. What did you think about Weedman? I can't wait to hear your thoughts. The movie I want to see is Juno, but I fear that it will be a little too precious, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. I don't mind being a little manipulated, which I guess we all are by entertainment, but I hate it when it is so obvious and feels like it is beating me over the head.

  4. Popular book. I read the first story and laughed so much I snorted and I could not see for the tears streaming from my eyes. Then I read another story--and then nothing. Lost impetus. I had to return it to the library, but have kept meaning to get it out again. Maybe I will. I did like her movie but found I was vaguely uncomfortable with it, too. It did not fit. It was not formulaic, which is a good thing, but it punched out reality in ways that I avoid, maybe?

  5. BBD -- I haven't read weedman yet! I think I'll start it tonight -- it seems like it will read fast, and then I'll let you know. I want to see Juno too -- I've been hearing really mixed things, but I still want to see it.

    Patty -- put it on hold again! although it'd probably be more efficient to wait a couple of months and then put it on hold. There were somewhere around 100 people STILL waiting for it when I returned my copy. (I think the lib. has about 30 copies.) Nothing in it made me laugh that hard, but I'd love to hear more about what rang your chimes in it! Taste is so subjective!!

    as for her movie... parts of it I found genuinely moving, parts made me irritable, parts made me roll my eyes FOREVER. I feel sort of half a click off with her stuff.

  6. I have that Miranda book on hold and I think that I am like 70 or something. If I had to actually wait in line for it I think that I would pass. Weedman was great at Wordstock. I can't wait to hear what you think...


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