Thursday, August 18, 2011

birds & bees & the city: minot's "lust & other stories"

disclaimer: i wanted to get this review done before leaving for mississippi but, obviously, didn't, what with all the packing and paperwork and all that jazz... so i am sorry this is not as in-depth as i would have liked it to be, but i really wanted to let you know about this book in any case. 
i guess you'll just have to read it for yourself if you want more.

"lust" is another book i picked off the public bookshelf. these are short short stories, and like the title story, all of them are about, well, lust. physical love. how boys and girls, men and women are and are not made for each other, how they click and don't click, how love and Love do not always overlap.

this is from the title story, one in a series of memories of boys past:
You'd go on walks to get off campus. It was raining like hell, my sweater sopped as a wet sheep. Tim pinned me to a tree, the woods light brown and dark brown, a white house half hidden with the lights already on. The water was as loud as a crowd hissing. He made certain comments about my forehead, about my cheeks. (p.4)
minot's narrator is straight-forward, honest, and observant. the book starts out with the narrator's memories of growing up, noticing how boys and men begin to act differently, treat her (and other girls) differently, how she experiences adolescence:
Certain nights you'd feel a certain surrender, maybe if you'd had wine. The surrender would be forgetting yourself and you'd put your nose to his neck and feel like a squirrel, safe, at rest, in a restful dream. But then you'd start  to slip from that and the dark would come in and there'd be a cave. (p.7)
the stories are subtle, yet frank. from teenagers via hipsters to liaised couples and old friends, minot creates and illuminates love in its peculiar and commonplace forms, its complications and effects. this is not a collection of romance stories. it is not sappy. it is also not a sexy sort of book. it is, however, intimate and personal and intensely interesting. 

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