No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories
  • Alternative view 1 of No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories
  • Alternative view 2 of No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories

No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories

4.0 45
by Miranda July
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Award-winning filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection. In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world. Her characters engage awkwardly -- they are

Overview

Award-winning filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection. In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world. Her characters engage awkwardly -- they are sometimes too remote, sometimes too intimate. With great compassion and generosity, July reveals their idiosyncrasies and the odd logic and longing that govern their lives. No One Belongs Here More Than You is a stunning debut, the work of a writer with a spectacularly original and compelling voice.

Editorial Reviews

Already a darling of the indie avant-garde, performance artist and award-winning film director Miranda July now storms the literary ramparts with a collection of transcendent short fiction that adds luster to her reputation. Peppered with startling (and sometimes shocking) plot twists, the 16 stories in this anthology feature lonely misfits riddled with eccentricities, longing for connection, and desperate to invent some happiness in a world that throws up barriers at every turn. As she did so memorably in her art house hit Me and You and Everyone We Know, July forces us to see the humanity in people who are less than lovable, laying bare their vulnerabilities with exquisite and unexpected tenderness. With rave reviews from respected literati like Dave Eggars, Rick Moody, and George Saunders, this debut collection seems poised to make a big splash.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743299398
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
05/15/2007
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Stories
By Miranda July

Scribner

Copyright © 2007 Miranda July
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780743299398

This Person

Someone is getting excited. Somebody somewhere is shaking with excitement because something tremendous is about to happen to this person. This person has dressed for the occasion. This person has hoped and dreamed and now it is really happening and this person can hardly believe it. But believing is not an issue here, the time for faith and fantasy is over, it is really really happening. It involves stepping forward and bowing. Possibly there is some kneeling, such as when one is knighted. One is almost never knighted. But this person may kneel and receive a tap on each shoulder with a sword. Or, more likely, this person will be in a car or a store or under a vinyl canopy when it happens. Or online or on the phone. It could be an e-mail re: your knighthood. Or a long, laughing, rambling phone message in which every person this person has ever known is talking on a speakerphone and they are all saying,You have passed the test, it was all just a test, we were only kidding, real life is so much better than that. This person is laughing out loud with relief and playing the message back to get the address of the place where every person this person has ever known is waiting to hug this person and bring her into the fold of life. It is really exciting, and it'snot just a dream, it's real.

They are all waiting by a picnic table in a park this person has driven past many times before. There they are, it's everyone. There are balloons taped to the benches, and the girl this person used to stand next to at the bus stop is waving a streamer. Everyone is smiling. For a moment this person is almost creeped out by the scene, but it would be so like this person to become depressed on the happiest day ever, and so this person bucks up and joins the crowd.

Teachers of subjects that this person wasn't even good at are kissing this person and renouncing the very subjects they taught. Math teachers are saying that math was just a funny way of saying "I love you." But now they are simply saying it, I love you, and the chemistry and PE teachers are also saying it and this person can tell they really mean it. It's totally amazing. Certain jerks and idiots and assholes appear from time to time, and it is as if they have had plastic surgery, their faces are disfigured with love. The handsome assholes are plain and kind, and the ugly jerks are sweet, and they are folding this person's sweater and putting it somewhere where it won't get dirty. Best of all, every person this person has ever loved is there. Even the ones who got away. They hold this person's hand and tell this person how hard it was to pretend to get mad and drive off and never come back. This person almost can't believe it, it seemed so real, this person's heart was broken and has healed and now this person hardly knows what to think. This person is almost mad. But everyone soothes this person. Everyone explains that it was absolutely necessary to know how strong this person was. Oh, look, there's the doctor who prescribed the medicine that made this person temporarily blind. And the man who paid this person two thousand dollars to have sex with him three times when this person was very broke. Both of these men are in attendance, they seem to know each other. They both have little medals that they are pinning on this person; they are badges of great honor and strength. The badges sparkle in the sunlight, and everyone cheers.

This person suddenly feels the need to check her post office box. It is an old habit, and even if everything is going to be terrific from now on, this person still wants mail. This person says she will be right back and everyone this person has ever known says, Fine, take your time. This person gets in her car and drives to the post office and opens the box and there is nothing. Even though it is a Tuesday, which is famously a good day for mail. This person is so disappointed, this person gets back in the car and, having completely forgotten about the picnic, drives home and checks the voice mail and there are no new messages, just the old one about "passing the test" and "life being better." There are no e-mails, either, probably because everyone is at the picnic. This person can't seem to go back to the picnic. This person realizes that staying home means blowing off everyone this person has ever known. But the desire to stay in is very strong. This person wants to run a bath and then read in bed.

In the bathtub this person pushes the bubbles around and listens to the sound of millions of them popping at once. It almost makes one smooth sound instead of many tiny sounds. This person's breasts barely jut out of the water. This person pushes the bubbles onto the breasts and makes weird shapes with the foam. By now everyone must have realized that this person is not coming back to the picnic. Everyone was wrong; this person is not who they thought this person was. This person plunges underwater and moves her hair around like a sea anemone. This person can stay underwater for an impressively long time but only in a bathtub. This person wonders if there will ever be an Olympic contest for holding your breath under bathwater. If there were such a contest, this person would surely win it. An Olympic medal might redeem this person in the eyes of everyone this person has ever known. But no such contest exists, so there will be no redeeming. This person mourns the fact that she has ruined her one chance to be loved by everyone; as this person climbs into bed, the weight of this tragedy seems to bear down upon this person's chest. And it is a comforting weight, almost human in heft. This person sighs. This person's eyes begin to close, this person sleeps.

Copyright © 2007 by Miranda July



Continues...


Excerpted from No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July Copyright © 2007 by Miranda July. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Videos

Meet the Author

Miranda July is a filmmaker, writer, and performing artist. Her work has been presented at sites such as The Kitchen, the Guggenheim Museum, and in two Whitney Biennials. She wrote, directed, and starred in her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which received a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. July's short fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper's, and Zoetrope, and has been heard on Public Radio. Raised in Berkeley, California, she lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

No One Belongs Here More Than You 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've found that people either adore Miranda July or loathe her. I am, personally, in the former. These stories were a nice break from all of the seemingly heavy things I've been reading lately- not that they were not meaningful, because, oh, they were. They were not full of superfluous language and clichés. They were like how it would be if someone told you about something that had happened to them or possibly, how you may think/narrate/feel inside your head. I found the book exceptional!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was browsing reviews for this book and I became irritated with people who did not understand July's writing. She is not writing, 'The sky is blue...' She goes above and beyond imagination. For those who like quirky, this book is it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a work of genius, a trans-genre satirization of modern life captured by way of a secular medium in the holest of ways. In keeping with avant-garde genius, this work should be trivialized, rejected and missed by the mass-minded. July, in both contemporary and historic terms, has done justice to literature in the 21st Century I truly cannot think of literary statements more articulate on the periodic condition in the last 100 years save for Henry Miller, Albert Camus, J.D. Salinger, Ira Levin, Brett Easton Ellis,and Chuck Palahniuk. Though in short-story format, her work must be considered equal to those formerly mentioned. Furthermore, I don't think a single pair of literate eyes could disagree.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Miranda July is the most wonderful writer of our generation. Her stories are so full of emotion and truth that they make your heart ache. This book is one of the most achingly poignant books I have ever read. Do yourself a favor and buy this book now!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As in her other work, July seeks to find connectedness between individuals, between the idividual and nature, and to her audience. She pretends to be a naive dreamer, but she is an observant witness to both human cruelty and naivete. Her stories have little to do with realism or with characters or with 'storytelling.' They are essays told in the form of narrative jokes, and comic timing is one of their primary strengths. I haven't been so captivated by the short story form since I discovered Kafka and O'Connor. July uses it to her ends, and has created, I think, a new kind of fiction in the process. I call it 'cosmic' because it views reality, desire, and being as an interconnected whole.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She impresses me with everything she does and this book is no exception.
BOBWRITER More than 1 year ago
Because all but one of the stories in this collection are told in the first person, it is easy for me to visualize Miranda July, the writer, director and star of the film Me and You and Everyone We Know, as that character. Even though there are references to physical descriptions of some of these that don't resemble Miranda July at all, it is still easy to see the viewpoint as hers. I read these stories with an all-encompassing fascination not so much because of what they were really about or because of thematic threads but because of her unique perspective on the world and her skewed yet totally accurate way of expressing her observations. The difficulty I had with the film, which I did admire for its audacity and unique vision, was that other characters also seemed to be mouthpieces for Miranda and it would have been much more palatable for me, steeped in my realistic world view, to accept one character making these observations. Honestly, I simply haven't met many people with a bizarre perspective as unique and imaginative as Miranda July's. With these stories, however, all the observations, all the metaphors, all the unlikely connections are made by a Miranda surrogate and so they can all be seen as installments in a continuing monologue she delivers to the planet. What I carry with me are recollections of breathtaking passages such as the following: That is my problem with life, I rush through it, like I'm being chased. Even things whose whole point is slowness, like drinking relaxing tea. When I drink relaxing tea, I suck it down as if I'm in a contest for who can drink relaxing tea the quickest. Or if I'm in a hot tub with some other people and we're all looking up at the stars, I'll be the first to say, It's so beautiful here. The sooner you say, It's so beautiful here, the quicker you can say, Wow, I'm getting overheated. Or this: Past a certain age, they give up on the name games, which is regrettable for someone like me who loves anything that involves going around a circle and saying something about yourself. I wish there was a class where we could just keep going around the circle, around and around, until we finally said everything about ourselves. I will be interested in seeing more films from her. However, I really look forward to more fiction/autobiographical observation/rambling/whatever she wants to call what she writes. These stories have inspired me in my own creativity more than most of what I've read in many years. I cannot bestow any higher praise than that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
melMP More than 1 year ago
a collection of short stories from artist/performer/writer Miranda July. while i wouldn't call this book un-put-down-able, i can't say i've found too many collection of short stories that are, her unique perspective is highly entertaining. each story defies categorization and, often times, after envisioning the story's voice in my head and my body, the short story revealed the protagonist to be an elderly man or someone else unexpected. my favorite story was Something That Needs Nothing. it expressed the quirkiness and self-reflection that a fan of July's "You Me and Everyone We Know" will anticipate and appreciate. As with all of Miranda July's work, a must for the permanent collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago