Someday This Will Be Funny

Someday This Will Be Funny

1.5 39
by Lynne Tillman
     
 

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The stories in Some Day This Will Be Funny marry memory to moment in a union of narrative form as immaculate and imperfect as the characters damned to act them out on page. Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, presides over the ceremony; Clarence Thomas, Marvin Gaye, and Madame Realism mingle at the reception. Narrators – by turn infamous andSee more details below

Overview

The stories in Some Day This Will Be Funny marry memory to moment in a union of narrative form as immaculate and imperfect as the characters damned to act them out on page. Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, presides over the ceremony; Clarence Thomas, Marvin Gaye, and Madame Realism mingle at the reception. Narrators – by turn infamous and nameless – shift within their own skin, struggling to unknot reminiscence from reality while scenes rush into warm focus, then cool, twist, and snap in the breeze of shifting thought. Epistle, quotation, and haiku bounce between lyrical passages of lucid beauty, echoing the scattered, cycling arpeggio of Tillman’s preferred subject: the unsettled mind. Collectively, these stories own a conscience shaped by oaths made and broken; by the skeleton silence and secrets of family; by love’s shifting chartreuse. They traffic in the quiet images of personal history, each one a flickering sacrament in danger of being swallowed up by the lust and desperation of their possessor: a fistful of parking tickets shoved in the glove compartment, a little black book hidden from a wife in a safe-deposit box, a planter stuffed with flowers to keep out the cooing mourning doves. They are stories fashioned with candor and animated by fits of wordplay and invention – stories that affirm Tillman’s unshakable talent for wedding the patterns and rituals of thought with the blushing immediacy of existence, defying genre and defining experimental short fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Forrest Gander
The innovations that characterize Someday This Will Be Funny…are familiar enough to readers who survived the 20th century that there is no reason to qualify Tillman as an "experimental" writer. Emotional subtlety and psychological complexity are at the heart of her stories…Tillman is simply a terrific prose stylist whose work should have wide appeal…Someday This Will Be Funny has a casual exuberance that leaves the reader atilt, tenderized and more than a bit awed.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Tillman's gorgeous and potent latest (after American Genius) finds the innovative author embracing diverse, imaginative forms in these often brief but always intriguing tales. "Give Us Some Dirt" is a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that, in scarcely four pages, plays skillfully on multiple meanings of "dirt" and raises provocative questions about race. Feeling more like an essay than a story, "Love Sentence" considers the role of words as vehicles of intense emotions, particularly in the digital age. With subjects ranging from birds to Marvin Gaye to an ex-lover who has earned Tillman's wrath, these missives partake in an elegant, efficient use of language to challenge concepts of love, history, memory, and language. Tillman's compact narratives shine and stand up to multiple readings. (May)
From the Publisher
"Tillman’s gorgeous and potent latest finds the innovative author embracing diverse, imaginative forms in these often brief but always intriguing tales"—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Gorgeously at ease and technically virtuosic...Tillman is simply a terrific prose stylist whose work should have wide appeal—"New York Times Book Review

"Clever intricate fictions that map both the complication and comedy of the moments that most writers miss—"Times Literary Supplement

Library Journal
The 22 pieces by Tillman (American Genius) collected here vary wildly in length, complexity, and focus, pondering such topics as the color chartreuse, the moon, the behavior of mourning doves, and the difficulties of writing about love. Some of the stories take on the perspective of famous people: "Give Us Some Dirt" manages to serve up sympathy for Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings; "Later"—an elegiac piece about two music icons who died too soon—features a conversation between John Lennon and Marvin Gaye in which they sing each other's songs. The most traditional stories are about male-female relationships: in "The Substitute," a woman overanalyzes her budding romance, while in "Playing Hurt," a smart woman makes a bad marriage choice. The funniest stories are "A Simple Idea," which involves paranoia stemming from unpaid parking tickets, and "More Sex," in which a woman ruminates on how men can possibly think of sex every seven minutes, as one statistic suggests. VERDICT Tillman's stories, though not always engrossing, are consistently illuminating; best suited for serious, patient readers who are dedicated to wrangling with ideas. Fans of Donald Barthelme and William Gass will also appreciate. [This is part of Red Lemonade's debut list. More information at rnash.com.—Ed.]—Evelyn Beck, Piedmont Technical Coll., Greenwood, SC

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935869139
Publisher:
Cursor
Publication date:
04/22/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
File size:
0 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Tillman’s gorgeous and potent latest finds the innovative author embracing diverse, imaginative forms in these often brief but always intriguing tales"—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Gorgeously at ease and technically virtuosic...Tillman is simply a terrific prose stylist whose work should have wide appeal—"New York Times Book Review

"Clever intricate fictions that map both the complication and comedy of the moments that most writers miss—"Times Literary Supplement

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