No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
Can you put a price on art? I mean, really. Can you? ART? REALLY?
Yes, three dollars. Because that is how much I paid for my copy of No One Belongs Here More Than You. This was another tremendous find from my favorite-and-totally-secret-Brooklyn-book-gathering spot. I had just seen July’s newest film, which (spoiler alert) is narrated by a cat, and I was jonesing for more ethereal, inaccessible Miranda July wackiness.
In my experience, most people do not like July’s work. I understand. It can be sickeningly twee and pretentious and weirdly paced. If you can’t stomach it, don’t read this book. These stories are essentially sixteen spec scripts for her next movie (and although I’m four years late on the No One… train, I’m certain her most recent book is nearly identical in execution).
But if you dig experimentation and magical realism and twee and a dash of literary overzealousness, get on it! July holds her own against the best— Lorrie Moore, Gary Lutz, Aimee Bender, what have you. In fact, she employs a style that I found downright mystifying. I get the sense that her stories gather all the details that another writer would never care to mention. And she omits the details, like names and settings and objects and their significances, that they would. And it works! It almost works sixteen times!