Arts & Leisure

Book review: Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory — by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

(Vintage)
 
Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creator of “BoJack Horseman,” delivers quirky, dark, surreal stories of love in a stunningly original and creative collection. Take the story, “A Most BLESSED and AUSPICIOUS OCCASION,” which features common quandaries for couples in the depths of planning a wedding, agonizing over details, being bombarded by well-meaning family members’ opinions, trying to balance obligations and expectations while retaining control of this celebration of love. This is a raucous and hilarious story. The couple is compelled to ask themselves: do we really need to have the Dance of the Cuckolded Woodland Sprite, and why wouldn’t you have “even a small Shrieking Chorus” and how do you decide between a no-goat-, ten-goat-, or two-hundred-goat wedding? Real dilemmas cloaked in Bob-Waksberg’s wonderful, wacky humor. But underneath the hilarity, you’ll find relatable people grappling with relatable experiences, heart in the pathos. And the stories step outside conventional structure. One in particular, “short stories,” is nothing more than a list of one-sentence stories that contain so much: “‘You’re not like other girls,’ he said to every girl” and “‘I don’t even think about you,’ he couldn’t wait to tell her, just as soon as she called him back.” Enjoy dipping into these stories as a break from reality.  
 
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of the Vermont Book Shop
 

Short Stories for Short Attention Spans
 
Lucky Ticket, by Joey Bui
Inheritors, by Asako Serizawa
The Moment of Tenderness, by Madeleine L’Engle
How Long ‘til Black Future Month?, by N. K. Jemisin
Sabrina & Corina, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Heads of the Colored People, by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
The Complete Stories, by Zora Neale Hurston
Flights, by Olga Tokarczuk
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay

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