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No-One Belongs Here More Than You

Miranda July

"In an ideal world, we would have been orphans. We felt like orphans and we felt deserving of the pity that orphans get, but embarrassingly enough, we had parents. I even had two."

Reviewed by Sara Crowley

There is plenty of hype attached to this book, and July has a seemingly endless supply of achingly cool friends keen to endorse her work. Reading some of the blurbs I bitchily wondered if these tales would have been placed in McSweeney's, The New Yorker et al. without their help.

Then I began the stories themselves and was utterly charmed by her voice. Her characters are lonely, uneasy, searching. They are normal people doing normal things that then slide into oddness. There is humour and sadness in them, but there is also an essential feeling of hope. It is impossible for me to review the book without using the work quirky. There it is, dammit, this book is a collection of QUIRKY short stories.

In 'I kiss a door' the narrator tells us in just over 4 pages her discovery of a shocking truth about her friend. July has great skill in choosing just the right words to breezily explain something that could have been laboured and over written and made so much more complex. This is her greatest talent I think, her ability to use dialogue or to invite us in to her characters mind and tell us things with deceptive ease. Several times I thought, wow, that's so clever.

There is a slight unevenness to the quality of the stories, I thought some much more effective than others, but it is good, it's thought provoking, sad, fun, and witty, which is some balancing act to pull off. And it turns out that Miranda July is talented and sparkly and thoroughly deserving of her publications and I am just jealous!

Sara Crowley is (in no particular order) a writer, mother, blogger, daughter, sister, bookseller and wife!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: Canongate books Ltd

Publication Date: July 2007

Website:Noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com

Paperback/Hardback?Paperback

First collection?: Yes

Awards: Frank O’Connor international short story award 2007

Author bio: Miranda July is a performance artist, musician, writer, actress and film director previously best known for her award winning film Me And You and Everyone We Know.

If you liked this book you might also like.... :

Lorrie Moore “Birds of America” 

Julie Orringer “How to Breathe Underwater”

What other reviewers thought:

The Guardian newspaper

New York Times

Popmatters

Goodreads

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