Synopses & Reviews
The narrator of these highly original stories, all of which have appeared in The New Yorker
, surveys the world with deadpan wit and candor. She's a photographer who has been attempting for three years to photograph a world-renowned reproductive surgeon/comedian who can't sit still long enough for his picture to be taken. Her other projects include photographing Anne Sexton's childhood home and Walden Pond. Along the way she keeps searching for some sign of sanity and order amid the mediocrity, waste, pointlessness, vulgarity, junk food, and TV programs of contemporary America. She's an astute observer of modern life's strange complexities windows that don't open, the footwear of endodontists, and husbands who don't talk and at the same time she's hilariously and poignantly caught up in them. The decline of our culture and everyday decency are brought into sharp focus by this unique, besieged sensibility, as is the beauty of vegetarianism, the use of Mozart for transcending root-canal therapy, and the heartache of floor refinishing and fluorescent lighting.
In Do the Windows Open? Julie Hecht, with her distinctive voice and wry humor, has given us a tragi-comedy of missed connections and opportunities, vividly illuminating the way we live now.
"Do the Windows Open?" is a series of hilarious linked tales documenting the mania of the modern day in devastating detail. The beguiling and alienated narrator has set herself the never-ending goal of photographing a world-renowned reproductive surgeon, Walden Pond, the ponds of Nantucket, and all the houses Anne Sexton ever lived in. What emerges is a unique sensibility under siege. 224 pp. 25,000 print.
Do the Windows Open?
is a series of hilarious linked tales documenting the mania of the modern day in devastating detail-tales that have had readers of The New Yorker
laughing out loud for years.
The beguiling and alienated narrator-who finds nearly everything interesting and almost nothing clear-has set herself the never-ending goal of photographing a world-renowned reproductive surgeon, Walden Pond, the ponds of Nantucket, and all the houses Anne Sexton ever lived in.
On the way, she searches for organically grown vegetables, windows that open, and an endodontist who acts like a normal person. She sometimes compares herself unfavorably to Jacqueline Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Princess Diana.
What emerges is a unique sensibility under siege. This is a remarkably original literary performance, one that speaks to anyone looking for the refuge laughter offers from life in an absurd world.
About the Author
Julie Hecht's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Harper's. She lives in East Hampton, New York in the winter and Massachusetts in the summer. She has been writing stories since she was eight years old.
Table of Contents
Perfect Vision 3
Do the Windows Open? 26
A Lovely Day 52
That's No Fun 79
Were the Ornaments Lovely? 102
The Thrill Is Gone 128
I Couldn't See a Thing 149
The World of Ideas 169
Who Knows Why 191