Saturday, August 15

Things You Should Know - AM Homes

Homes is, according to the back jacket, "a sublime short-fiction writer whose stories are like sharp and luminous rips in the social fabric she so accurately describes."
Perhaps, but if so my brief Homesian experience was atypical. In fairness I read only one of the eleven stories in this slender volume, "The Chinese Lesson" wherein a nameless protagonist narrates in first person the ongoing search for his demented and wandering mother-in-law, Mrs Ha. In the process he also reflects on his marriage, culture and identity, and projects motivation.
Perhaps because of my current state of mind, I felt no connection with this story or its characters. Nothing happened, nothing changed, and I just felt a mild irritation that left me wholly disinterested in reading any of the rest of the collection.
This was particularly disappointing as I'd picked up Things You Should Know after my eye was caught by another Homes work, a novel called This Book Will Save Your Life, which sounded potentially interesting. Based on my experience thus far I've returned that, too, but may attempt Homes again when I'm in a fairer state of mind. For now, though, the deepest of ehs. - Alex

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