Break It Down
StoriesBook - 2008
In "Break It Down," the main character tries to determine if the money he spent on a euphoric 10-day romance was worth the pleasure -- and then, when the romance is over, whether it was worth the pain. In "Story," the narrator is so obsessed with contacting her lover that she finds it impossible to enjoy herself. She can neither work nor sleep, and she can't get her lover out of her mind. She worries if he's deceiving her. She wonders if he still loves her -- and if he does love her, just how much? In "The Letter," the narrator searches for her ex-husband's old white Volvo's "beautiful soft shape." His face floats before her as she pauses in her work, and she returns to her translating to stave off the pain. When she finally does receive a letter from him, she minutely analyzes his handwriting in the hope that she can understand what he was really feeling when he wrote to her. In the end, she sniffs the stationery to see if any of his aroma lingers on the paper -- but all she is able to smell is the ink. The remaining stories -- some of them one-sentence observations, many two-or there-page vignettes -- seem, at best, like prose poems. At worst, they might be remnants from any number of writing workshop exercises. Many have to do with old ladies, sisters, houses, cockroaches and mice. Some manage to be poignant pictures, while other leave the reader asking, "Why?" or "What for?"
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008.
Edition: Pbk. ed.
Branch Call Number: SS DAVI
Characteristics: 177 pages ; 21 cm.