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Search tags: Joyce-Carol-Oates
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review 2018-08-19 18:18
I Am No One You Know ★★★☆☆
I am No One You Know - Joyce Carol Oates

This is my first experience with Joyce Carol Oates, so I’m not sure if this is typical of her work. I found it both compelling and frustrating. The stories were mostly character portraits, and those characters were usually damaged, isolated, seeking to explain or understand themselves. Pretty grim reading, in other words. As for frustrating, they were structured almost like flash fiction, where there is no narrative arc. Every story just… stops. I could have been okay with this through a handful of stories, but I was weary of the whole thing long before I got through all nineteen.   

 

eBook, purchased via kindle.

 

 

Previous Updates:

6/24/18 – 1%

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text 2018-07-13 14:43
I Am No One You Know - 9%
I am No One You Know - Joyce Carol Oates

I've read 2 of 19 short stories so far. It's... different. I love her writing style, and I love the way she creates her characters, even if those characters are themselves not very likeable. But both stories don't *feel* like complete short stories. They're more like fragments of stories - longer than flash fiction, but incomplete. It's a little maddening. And I'm not entirely certain what the point is of these stories. If they have a point? 

 

Curly Red: Being exiled from a family of terrible people is worse than being a terrible person to belong?

 

In Hiding: A woman can comfortably expose herself through her poetry while hiding from real people when they seek her out? 

 

To be continued...

 

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review 2018-07-12 19:32
Living and Dying
The Bright Hour - Nina Riggs
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi,Abraham Verghese
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion
Blue Nights by Didion, Joan 1st (first) Edition [Hardcover(2011)] - Joan Didion
A Widow's Story - Joyce Carol Oates
Missing Mom - Joyce Carol Oates
About Alice - Calvin Trillin
How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter - Sherwin B. Nuland

So, I've been off BL for a long, long time. A lot has happened, I got pregnant and had a daughter. My mom got sick and passed away. I had to clear out and sell my childhood home and all the contents while trying to balance all of that and my full time job. It's been...something.

 

For a while, not long after my mom died (3 days before Christmas 2016 when my daughter was only 5 months old) I started searching out and reading books that dealt with death and grief. I read a lot of Joan Didion The Year of Magical ThinkingBlue Nights. I read When Breath Becomes Air and About Alice and A Widow's Story. I started Missing Mom and couldn't go any further because it was too hard and How We Die.

 

The Bright Hour is one of the most beautiful books I've read, ever. I can't possibly describe it except to use it's full title--The Bright Hour: a memoir of living and dying. It is so full of life, all the messiness and happiness and tragedy and humor and it faces death and mortality head on, unflinching. 

 

I recently reread it, now a year and a half since my mother passed, it still has such power and peace. I can't recommend it enough.

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quote 2018-06-30 10:34
Bo czymże są bogowie, jeżeli nie naszymi starożytnymi namiętnościami... Bóg Hebrajczyków zmęczył się i zestarzał, lecz starożytni bogowie wciąż pozostają młodzi...
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quote 2018-06-28 18:15
Niektórym zależy tylko na tym, żeby spieprzyć ci życie. Jeśli nie mogą pieprzyć ciebie, to chociaż spieprzą ci życie.
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