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No One Belongs Here More Than You: Storiesby Miranda July
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Listen to Miranda July read her story, "The Swim Team," from No One Belongs Here More Than You.
Is there a creative project Miranda July can't conquer? If you've jealously posed this question before reading her fiction, stay away from the new collection. No One Belongs Here More Than You will only embitter you further. It's not enough for July to write, direct, and star in a prize-winning film at Cannes and Sundance. Her recordings for Kill Rock Stars, stage performances, web projects... Maybe she's a terrible abstract painter, but I doubt it. Imagine sixteen tight, breathtaking doses of Me and You and Everyone We Know, the same deep compassion, anxious humor, and aching vulnerability. Cross Aimee Bender and Amy Hempel, and then cross you fingers July makes time for more fiction soon.
July's short stories perfectly embody the wonder that is Portland, that is the Pacific Northwest. At once humorous as well as speculative, in this all-too-short collection, July is a rollercoaster of emotions. Reading it is like listening to the saddest Morrissey song on repeat while watching old Chris Farley clips. In one word, perfection.
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"These delightful stories do that essential-but-rare story thing: they surprise. They skip past the quotidian, the merely real, to the essential, and do so with a spirit of tenderness and wonder that is wholly unique. They are (let me coin a phrase) July-esque, which is to say: infused with wonder at the things of the world." George Saunders, author of In Persuasion Nation
"These stories are incredibly charming, beautifully written, frequently laugh-out-loud funny, and even, a dozen or so times, profound. Miranda July is a very real writer, and has one of the most original voices to appear in fiction in many years. Fans of Lorrie Moore should rub this book all over themselves — she's got that perfect balance of humor and pathos. There has been no more enjoyable and promising a debut collection in many a moon." Dave Eggers
"Miranda July's is a beautiful, odd, original voice — seductive, sometimes erotic, and a little creepy, too." David Byrne
"A woman gives swimming lessons in her kitchen — of course! Miranda July can make anything seem normal in these truly original stories. She has first-rate comic timing and a generous view of the human condition. Maybe best of all, there's joy here, too, often where you would not expect to find it." Amy Hempel, author of The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
"An accomplished debut collection of 16 stories, simultaneously bizarre and achingly familiar....A smart, original collection." Kirkus Reviews
"July's collection of stories is a gem of unconventional storytelling. Comparisons to Lorrie Moore only get the potential reader halfway there; one must add Karen Finley's meditations and Douglas Coupland's painful self-exploration." Booklist
"Some of these couplings are startling, but others are cliches that drag down an otherwise witty and unusual book. The best moments here are small...and as they accrue the collection becomes an exhilarating read." Library Journal
"[T]he book is full of wistful, wonderful observations about the limits of connection, about the hopes and disappointments of intimacy....July has created a voice that is alive and winning and very funny as she struggles to answer their questions and, ultimately, ours." Los Angeles Times
"The problem with Ms. July's writing, of course, is that even her metaphors seem to indicate something about youth culture....Her voice is positioned as generational, and in fiction that can be distracting." New York Sun
"July is a strange and compelling new voice; her worlds feel real and surreal and desperately sad and filled with what one character calls 'secret joy,' at the same time. And while there is often a frustrating air of utter self-absorption about many of these disconnected souls, their hearts are powerfully human." Seattle Times
"July's is a distinctive aesthetic that, misread, can seem flip, pointless and cold....These stories are marked by an imagination that conjures the incredible, renders it mundane (often through sex) and captures an emptiness of modern spirit." The Oregonian
"If the territory in No One Belongs Here More Than You seems familiar, her treatment of it is different, less coolly twee." New York Magazine
"This volume isn't a comfortable place to be....A handful of these stories are sweet and revealing, although in many cases the attempt to create 'art' is too self-conscious, and the effort comes off as pointlessly strange." Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New York Times Book Review
Screenwriter, director, and star of the acclaimed film Me and You and Everyone We Know, Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection.
About 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.
Table of Contents
The Shared Patio
The Swim Team
The Man on the Stairs
It Was Romance
Something That Needs Nothing
I Kiss a Door
The Boy from Lam Kien
Making Love in 2003
Ten True Things
Birthmark How to Tell Stories to Children
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