Home No. 5

Hi, I'm Jami Attenberg. I write books, and much, much more. My fourth book, The Middlesteins, came out in 2012. You can order it here or here. My fifth book, Saint Mazie, will be published in June 2015.

Also I like dogs and fighting crime.

This is the fifth place to find me on the internet. Please don't tell me I need a sixth.

Posts I Like

I went to two yoga classes, two days in a row, where I felt like the instructors were adjusting me too much. I began to loathe them, which is not the place you’re supposed to be in a yoga class. I was there to avoid the computer and the news but I set all my intentions and prayers for the crisis in the Midwest, as I’ve been thinking of it, though it is the crisis in America, as well, and a crisis all over the place, come to think of it. Then these strangers wanted to touch my hips.

There are entire worlds contained in my hips. A life of experience, in these hips of mine. I just measured them: 42 inches. I remember being in high school and having a doctor tell me I had “birthing hips.” I was fifteen. This is not what you say to a fifteen year old. Now those hips have been labelled. Now those hips have been assigned a task. I just wanted them to be mine forever. I didn’t need to think about them that way.

I went to the gynecologist yesterday and I had the fastest pelvic exam in history. Whoops! You’re all fucked up. She told me that the (harmless) growths in my uterus were now massive.  Which has been causing me all these problems. Which is why I feel so heavy all the time even when when I’m not. But I am, you see. I am. Because they exist. They are in me, they weigh something, and so I am enormous. She pressed down on my stomach, testing, and I cried out in pain. I go for a sonogram on Friday.

I let her touch me inside and out because she’s a doctor. I can see it’s not the fault of these over-eager yoga instructors. They’re just trying to fix me too. Only yesterday and today I didn’t want my flesh to be molded in what they thought was the right direction. I’m not their clay. I want my hips to do what they like. I want everything inside and outside of me to do what it likes, but all of it is betraying me right now.

Also am I the only one who gets up in the morning, reads about Ferguson, cries and then starts their day?

All I am focused on in this new book is form and structure. I feel like with character and voice you just have to channel it, and plot is just thinking about what happens every day to people. And form and structure is like the video game part of the book, where you get to mess around and dodge things and build things and do loop de loops. Wendy says, “And every time you figure out something new about the structure you get a NEW LIFE.”

260 plays


Smog, “Fools Lament”

Listen to this song if you are in the mood to be charmed.

In the shower today I got to thinking about someone I don’t talk to anymore and what I would want to say to them if we talked again. I decided that I would not want to say anything to them. Then I wondered what kind of message or statement or feeling I would want to leave with them, and I was befuddled. I thought, “Well maybe I’d just sing a song.”

If you took the mean of Who I actually am and Who I think myself to be, you might have the person presented in this song (moving at a loping pace, clever, nearly profound, principled but in sort of a confusing way). Similar temperament, preoccupations. Half confession, half self-assertion.

I listened to this song so long ago and loved it so much and then I forgot where I heard it and after a while nearly forgot it existed entirely and then I was reminded tonight and there it was, waiting for me just where I left it.

Includes the line: Humiliation is good/It means you believe in something.

Also includes: I’ve taken the edge off so many times, I’m round.

A+ thoughtful lovely funny song.

Sleepless Nights/Elizabeth Hardwick, Speedboat/Renata Adler, Goodmorning, Midnight/Jean Rhys.

This kind of weather always makes me want to dress like Steff in Pretty in Pink.

This kind of weather always makes me want to dress like Steff in Pretty in Pink.

so many of my friends are home working on this beautiful august night. why are we such massive gorgeous beautiful special unsalvageable nerd workaholics.