Sh*t We Like: September 28, 2018

Posted by FSGO
September 28, 2018

Shit we like 9.28 Emily Bell

Week of September 28, 2018


Crudo by Olivia Laing: I’m not yet finished reading Olivia Laing’s new novel Crudo, but it may turn out to be the best fiction I’ve read recently that captures what it feels like to be alive as a woman in America today — the pendular swing between the dead-eyed narcissism encouraged by our obsession with our devices and the sudden, overwhelming despair of another devastating news alert, a way of existing which felt particularly and intensely unbearable in summer 2017, when Crudo begins, and now just feels like . . . life. Crudo is told in third person, from the perspective of a woman named Kathy, who we understand to be Olivia, but who is also sometimes also understood to be Kathy Acker — stay with me! — a conceit that allows Laing to explore the artifice of autofiction, to test its parameters and to indulge in it at the same time.

It’s a bit difficult to explain, and I haven’t yet sorted out what I’m trying to say about it (and Alexandra Schwartz already did a nice job). But it’s very good, and very fucking funny. My favorite sentence, so far: “Human relations, how.” (NH)

This Week Sucks: This week has been a sad one for me. Really sad. The death of two friends plus the Kavanaugh hearings have me pretty down. I’m pregnant so I can’t drown my sorrows with whiskey or wine. Instead I resorted to watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians. But that only made things worse. Even their athleisure game couldn’t distract me from how unkind they are to one another. I think I’ll see Crazy Rich Asians this weekend with a giant soda and two candies. Maybe that will help. (EB)