Miranda July

I first learnt about Miranda online through Miss Snark‘s (now expired) blog where she’d put a link to Miranda’s ingenius website marketing her new book. And now that I’ve read it, I am more in awe of the lady, for Miranda is a true genius as her stories are beautifully original, quirky and a learning experience in what new writing should be all about as a wannabe writer myself.

I’ve been stuck in a rut trying to write something the past few months, and the more I read, the less I seem to want to write because I feel dwarfed by the talent here in America. And yet, writers like Miranda inspire me to abandon all my inhibitions and insecurities and look within myself to want and go to a place where I can just throw away the shackles of adulthood and motherhood and perhaps even readerhood to unlock my inner muse.

No One Belongs Here More Than You is a compilation of 16 stories that are really insights into seeming ordinary lives that have been turned inside out with Miranda’s imagination and use of clever prose that makes you pause after each story and go, “Hmm…what happened there?”.

I am not a deep person but I do love a good philosophical, metaphysical “why” and “what if” pondering from time to time, and that is what each Miranda story is like. That some of the stories are disturbing in content (a man is given ecstacy and coerced to having sex with his male friend even when he’s not gay; a teacher having sex with her autistic student; a movie being made about an older man being in love with a child) is a factor that becomes less important as she delves into the imagined how of these scenarios, how easily these things happen, how commonly they take place, how loneliness does not discriminate, how even the most ordinary, traditional, ‘normal’ personas can make drastic turns in life with even the smallest decisions – taking a drug, sending an email, a mere phone call. That most of what happens in life needs no grand gestures, no build-ups, no elaborate staging. That some things just happen because they happen in our minds, and the rest of the world is left to wonder, “Why didn’t we see that coming?” because really, who do you know has the time or inclination to really look?

My simplest reasons for liking Miranda is she’s funny and imaginative. Sometimes it seems that she may be a little crazy but I think those are the best kind of writers, those who seem to have a controlled madness about them they can use to come up with truly original stuff you don’t get to see very often.

I await eagerly for more of Miranda’s books and her films.

More of my amateur book reviews can be read at my Library Thing.