Synopses & Reviews
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 Tillmans 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 loves 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 Tillmans unshakable talent for wedding the patterns and rituals of thought with the blushing immediacy of existence, defying genre and defining experimental short fiction.
"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)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.