“'Nobody Is Ever Missing' is composed mostly of long, languid sentences that push into the night like headlights. They’re the sign of a writer settling in for a long backcourt game, one who is going to wear you down rather than go in for the kill. Sometimes these sentences lose their way, stall out or end up doubling back on themselves. Just as often, they are improbably beautiful, or simply cool and knowing.”—
I loved this book so much and am thrilled that it received such a positive review today.
My two favorite books so far this year, ‘Nobody Is Ever Missing’ and Roxane Gay’s ‘An Untamed State’, both follow women (Elyria and Mirelle) who have suddenly left their homes - albeit under t r e m e n d o u s l y different circumstances. They’re two women I will not soon forget. Two women who are as deserving of your attention as the writers who created them.
Whatever I was doing before today was the thing I did then but now it's now and I need to do something else.
Rebooting this morning. I got up at 5:30 and walked the dog for an hour. I was free and easy with my hellos to strangers on the street. I got to where I was going faster than usual, or at least it felt that way. I was just trying to make sense of everything and so time moved differently. Nothing was open for coffee except for a little vegan place, painted pink. The dog sat placidly outside. I bought yogurt and raspberries after that. Just before I got home, I saw my handsome, married neighbor who smokes cigars at sunset on the roof by himself. We beamed at each other. In my apartment I lit a candle, I scrubbed the stove. I took down a piece of art from the wall, wrapped it up in a bag, put in the closet. Just so I would never have to look at it again. I moved some other pieces around on the wall behind my desk. Just so I could have something new behind me. I might order an office chair, too, I’ve been thinking about that. Just so I could have some new kind of support. Then there was the making of the lists. My lists are serious. They are designed for radical alteration and also for success. #7: Whatever I was doing before today was the thing I did then but now it’s now and I need to do something else.
This is what I do. A kind of secret I’m letting you in on. I line my lips with a Nars rose tinted pencil, I pat my eyelids with fine Lorac powder, I dab a rosy MAC stain on my cheekbones - which are lost these days but then like magic they appear, blossom colored, vibrant, almost like they…
“There’s a certain standard-issue pose for the young person of literary ambitions in New York. Cynical and slightly bored-seeming on the outside; thirsty on the inside: disillusioned with the whole idea of “believing in anything,” exhibiting a generalized scorn of government, religion, politics and philosophy, as well as a set of received feelings about women, and about “respecting” women. Very rarely will anyone venture one syllable outside that SOP for fear of imperiling a nascent career. And understandably so, perhaps: in the fishbowl of New York media, the slightest deviation from conventional thinking is so easily magnified that the risk of being blackballed is real.”—
Major pause in a piece/review/essay I otherwise am really into—Is this true? It feels very untrue, but maybe I, a, do not have literary ambitions, b, do not know people who do, c, am again falling prey to failing to see that there is the “book world” and the “media world” and they overlap but aren’t the same. But Maria says “literary” and then says “media.” But this thing she calls standard-issue sounds completely alien, from real life, to me.