Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Title: No One Belongs Here More Than You
Author: Miranda July
Genre: Literary Fiction, Short Stories


Publisher: Scribner
Publishing Date: May 15th 2007
Hardcover: 224 pages

Summary: (from Goodreads)
Award-winning filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection. In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world. Her characters engage awkwardly -- they are sometimes too remote, sometimes too intimate. With great compassion and generosity, July reveals their idiosyncrasies and the odd logic and longing that govern their lives. No One Belongs Here More Than You is a stunning debut, the work of a writer with a spectacularly original and compelling voice.

I must admit upfront I am not a big fan of short stories compilations. Short stories are usually very hit-or-miss with me. Even though I would think my batty mind would love the way you can jump from one story to the next, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Instead I find myself getting annoyed with the stories I don’t like, and annoyed when the stories I do like end.

So what it is that made this book stand out to me I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that I loved this book in a way that I haven’t felt in a very long time. It’s like the first time I read David Sedaris. Even though I was sure I wouldn’t be able to get into the book, something magical happened and I realized I was reading something extraordinary. This book was like that for me and I found myself wanting to read out loud to anyone who would listen.


No One Belongs Here More Than You is very much about loneliness and loss and all the different masks they can wear. Some of the characters are quite gross, but that makes their struggle all the more heartbreaking I think. Even though each story follows a different character, there is a similar vibe that runs through the book making each story connected to the whole. I found myself getting lost in the mood of this book more than the actually stories themselves. Obviously, this book isn’t perfect though and not all of the stories were great. Some fell kind of flat for me. But I have a feeling that the stories most loved will vary from person to person and that’s one of the things that makes this book special.

Notable Quotes/ Parts:

Here is a video of July reading from her book:


I know people tend to dislike anything too “hipster,” but this book really is great. I also wouldn’t be surprised if you either love or hate this book. No One Belongs Here More Than You is just like that.

Rating: 8. Excellent – some laughing and/or crying involved

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