In “College Town l980,” young people adrift in Ann Arbor debate the meaning of personal strength at the start of the Reagan era; in the urban fairy tale “Mirrorball,” a young man steals a girl’s soul during a one-nigh...more
There's more formal range here than in Bad Behavior and Because They Wanted To. She takes some risks in this sense.
Yes, she has a bit of a potty mouth ;) This has never bothered me ...more
Afterward: Yeah. An interesting thing happened in this one- I can't remember whether it happened in the previous short story collections of hers that I've read, or whether maybe I haven't actually read them- where, as it went on, the stories got less, like, evil, and while they didn' ...more
The stories in Mary Gaitskill’s Don’t Cry reflect characters who are profoundly vexed, but not in a profound way. It seems that Ms. Gaitskill has contrived both them and their situations with the simple goal of shocking her reader. The stories are visceral, yes, but they lack substance, and the fact that Gaitskill herself seems to harbor nothing but disdain for her characters makes it impossible for the reader to feel anything for them either. That’s all that t ...more
I remember the first time I read Self-Help and when I picked up Lust and Other Stories. There was this intimidation, this contempt, this other sadness. I wanted to be this good. I wanted to crawl, to burrow into the reader and make myself known.
Gaitskill's collection creeps in like that... at first I was kind of bored. I wasn't impressed with the beginning stories.. it was what I had been experiencing this entire year with the books that I've chosen to read. Meh. But, with Mirror Ball I ...more
There are people who write masterfully, and there are master writers. I had never read Gaitskill before, but she is something of a genius with words and this fact struck me in the face.
Some of her subject matter is likely to seem uncomfortable for some, not because she's trumpeting gynocentrism (actually, she devotes time to couching the politicization of gender). Rath ...more
Mary Gaitskill scrive molto bene e spesso stupisce perché è in grado di non fossilizzarsi su uno stile in particolare o di seguire sempre lo stesso canovaccio che funziona. Hanno tratti molto fisici le storie che racconta, con i corpi della donne che entrano di prepotenza nella visionarietà delle s ...more
I've always appreciated her ability to wake me up--in particular, her ability to defamiliarize the understandings of intimacy that I become comfortable with--but in this collection the writing itself is so elegant that I feel encouraged to wake up, regardless of the reality that I'm waking up to.
Every once in a while I come across short ...more
There are some excellent stories in this collection—stories that individually warrant more than the 3 star rating I gave the book. (T ...more
Often she also strings different time-lines together, and sometimes this can be muddling. Usually, it’s pretty clear, and you flow along with a person’s consciousness as it moves freely from past to present, fro ...more
Gaitskill is a very skilled writer; I have no doubt of that. Her stories were fin ...more
"Safe in her sweating, loose, and very wet embrace, surrounded by the dense energy of many men, his penis could tell her the secret story of murder right in front of everyone. Her worn vagina would hold the killer like it had held the husband and the lover and the sharpie and the father and the nitwit and every other man, his terrible story a tiny, burning star in the right-ful firmament of her female vastness."
"They want heaven and they will go to hell to get there."