Always Happy Hour, Mary Miller’s second collection of stories, opens with the strangest dedication I have ever read: “For my exes.” Why would one dedicate anything to one’s exes? And not just one ex–not, say, “The One I’m Still Friends With”–but all of them, wholesale? At once blunt and tender, impersonal and twistedly sweet […]
In perhaps one of the only reviews of Douglas Coupland’s Worst.Person.Ever. that doesn’t either eviscerate the book or conflate the author with his narrator, Erin McReynolds writes: “What’s impressive about WPE—whatever your feeling for its lewd sense of humor—is the confidence with which the hits come, so that the misses don’t feel like misses so much as a plot gone wild for the express purpose of portraying a world gone mad.”
In his fourth book, Leaving the Sea, Ben Marcus finds a vein between “leveraging grammar as a medium for the making of art,” as he wrote in “Why Experimental Fiction Threatens to Destroy Publishing, Jonathan Franzen, and Life as We Know it,” in Harper’s nine years ago, and the sweet spot of the familiar, with its recognizable humor, alienation, and longing.