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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Miranda July’s work worth viewing, reading or hearing”

    Miranda July is kind of weird.

    Gaining popularity in a plethora of professions from music to film and writing, July has almost done it all. She is probably best known for her feature-length film, “”Me and You and Everyone We Know,”” but she spends most of her time on performance art. July’s short films are some of her most easily accessed work and YouTube holds a few of the best. One is called, “”Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?”” which involves John C. Reilly asking people if they are anybody’s favorite person. It’s kind of sad, but also clever. Another titled, “”How to Make a Button,”” features July in a “”button factory”” creating buttons out of sugar using coffee cups and provolone cheese. It’s not that they’re laugh-out-loud funny exactly, but July has a creative way of taking something mundane and making it worth watching.

    Her first collection of short stories, “”No One Belongs Here More Than You,”” is an extension of that kind of work. There is a very personal narrator that is oddly similar in each story, but the narrator is unlike anybody you know. The characters are honest and forthcoming, willing to share the private moments and thoughts that everyone experiences, but definitely don’t share, and the stories are heart wrenching, beautiful and weird.

    In “”The Swim Team,”” a lonely woman talks about a summer she spent in a small town giving swimming lessons to old people in her living room. In another, an old man deals with his growing obsession with wanting to be in a relationship with a teenage girl. At times, the stories become surreal and perplexing; the lack of actual dialogue adds to the already memory-like sequences. Some of them can be uncomfortable to read because July writes with no sexual limitations, but it adds to the raw feeling of being directly in the mind of each character. This collection could make you laugh, cry or feel any number of emotions and it’s definitely unlike anything you’ve ever read.

    If all that isn’t enough, check out www.noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com for pictures of July’s refrigerator and oven, plus suggestions from her like reading the book while wearing a shirt that matches the color of the book cover. There’s also an audio book read by July which she made “”for truck drivers and the blind, but you might enjoy it too.””


    5/5 stars
    224 pages
    Scribner Publishing

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