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Alone with Other People

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  296 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
"What Gabby Bess captures with her words is the beauty of a fragile time & place. In this collection, she evokes what it means to be young, to be a woman, to have both feet firmly planted both in this world & the virtual. She asks fascinating questions like, 'Is anyone moved by the plainness of raw skin anymore?' She makes you trust she's the necessary answers with ...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Civil Coping Mechanisms
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Michael Seidlinger
Jun 17, 2013 Michael Seidlinger rated it it was amazing
How much closer to the screen must we be in order to believe that we really are getting to know each other?
I was looking for a book that would complete me. Written by someone who was just like me but also totally different. Somehow, I found it. A slim collection of melancholy but funny, introspective, female-driven little stories about relationships, loneliness, and this modern life. It was my best friend in the world while I was reading it.
Ana Alvarez
Jun 20, 2013 Ana Alvarez rated it it was amazing
Gabby's writing is both effective and affective. Her ability to combine a selection of differing formats throughout the book made me feel the very displacement she was evoking in her writing. I read the book in one sit and felt a little sad and a little lost afterwards. Filled with sad humor and disillusionment, I felt like Gabby was reflecting something I have felt and could not express. If there is a "female gaze," I felt it through Gabby's words. They peered into me.
I like this book. I like Gabby. I like Illuminati Girl Gang. I have read Gabby's chapbook 'AIRPLANE FOOD' as well as work she has published online. While I have always been impressed/affected by her writing, reading 'ALONE WITH OTHER PEOPLE' it is incredibly evident that Gabby consistently improves/masters the art of writing and the alienation specific to human beings, particularly 'female' beings I felt like I could 'relate' to many of the "themes" in this book of poetry & short stories. Th ...more
Luna Miguel
Jun 19, 2013 Luna Miguel rated it it was amazing
Frances Chiem
Mar 18, 2014 Frances Chiem rated it really liked it
I am greatly looking forward to Gabby's future work. She wrote this book at 20 and is so unflinching, unselfconscious in recounting her feelings without being solipsistic. This is a difficult thing as a young woman, the validity of whose feelings are often brought into question. This is not a task I could have achieved at 20, nor really now at 23.

Some favorite lines:
"Sweetie. Honey. Baby girl. As a woman, those were also her names."

"Viewed from space, one cannot be certain
whether I am an asshol
Jun 20, 2013 Tobias rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2013
Full disclosure: we ran one of the stories in here on Vol.1 Brooklyn, so I'm not exactly unobjective. That said: a fine collection of poetry and short fiction, detailing hyperconnected lives occasionally punctuated by grim moods.
Xian Xian
Mar 09, 2014 Xian Xian rated it it was amazing
Alone with Other People is a collection of poetry and short stories that I hate to say are weird, but they are definitely quirky and light hearted. They are very much like Miranda July, but a lot more on the upbeat side and kind of surrealist almost. But a light surrealism, like a stream of conscious that constantly changes the point of the subject to the point where nothing makes sense ever. This stream usually comes around during the days fulled with digital ennui sitting at your laptop and wh ...more
Mark Meneses
Feb 07, 2014 Mark Meneses rated it it was amazing
'Hyperconnectivity' is a word used in a review of this. 'Loneliness' is another. I know this book gets a lot of 'feminist' tags (is that a terrible phrase to use?) attached to it, but I felt I, as a male, was able to peer into it as well as out from it. It's not alienating, but it's about the alienated. It's aesthetically/tonally wonderful, and wonderful in other ways too.
Aug 09, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
I think the best word I could pick for describing these poems and short pieces would be unsettling. The words Bess puts on the page are so many different things at the same time: jagged and humorous, abject and moving, startling and compelling. Though I would never describe the writing as melodramatic, one thing it isn't is quiet. It doesn't need to yell, but the reader definitely hears.
Robert Vaughan
Nov 24, 2013 Robert Vaughan rated it it was amazing
Stories and poems that unsettle me, or jar me in the most sensitive manner are my favorites. This author, Gabby Bess, is unflinching. She does not shy away from the work that will make you scratch that scab off again. And again.
Aug 01, 2015 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. Full of Millennial clichés.
Jonathan Lee B.
Dec 30, 2013 Jonathan Lee B. rated it it was amazing
Alone With Other People is traveling across the U.S. by train to visit a friend.
Feb 05, 2015 Keegan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Ultimately a beautiful, unsettling, and eye-opening experience. I feel like I made a new friend, one that I'm not quite sure how to be there for.

These are the sort of things I'd write in my journal but never think to publish. Love the phrase "the female gaze" used to describe this in another review. I'd be interested in a more cohesive collection by Gabby Bess.
Fernando Pérez Pérez
There are some interesting poems in here, at least some excerpts worth underlining, which made the volume more than ok, even good, as long as you skip a decent deal of pages. An example of these bright, compelling verses/lines:

"I was only sad
in the way that I was supposed to be
when I was there with you.)
And I know that she also averts her eyes because the sun presents itself
as an empty light source–

We do not earn salary for this emotional labor."

Then, as a whole, the book barely justifies the ki
Jan 02, 2017 Natalie rated it really liked it
i did enjoy this overall, there were some lines and some pieces that i really really liked (the woman at the end of the cul-de-sac, tipping, how to live, i feel of great importance historically, dining alone at plaza azteca, 20mg/day, the universe has taught us a great trick, a thing to do is sit around and think about things, travel south, inside of this poem there is a rock and then there is me) , but some i didn't, and some i just felt were a bit amateur. so as a collection i wouldn't give it ...more
M- S__
Feb 06, 2015 M- S__ rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, stories
Holy shit. This book is a knockout. So much of the poetry is alive and nervous and honest in a way that is just so fucking refreshing. This book is people I know. This book is up in their guts. I'm a little sleep deprived at the end of a work day so maybe none of this makes sense, but I was just really impressed with most of the poetry and probably over half the stories. When the writing slips, it's usually an over-deliberation or an interaction that doesn't feel false but also doesn't feel nece ...more
Jan 16, 2017 Chris rated it really liked it
While Bess's prose is a little flat sometimes, the poems in this book are great. She is definitely on the best side of the new, sparse writing style that seems to be everywhere in independent literature. I also love the one-liner pieces (found interspersed through the book in dark circles) with their funny, ironic titles. She mentions in here that she has not found a way to express her sadness through humor, but whether she means to be or not, she's a very funny, and sad, writer.
Maia Robinson
Jul 14, 2015 Maia Robinson rated it really liked it
(Sometimes, my eyes suggest thing about me - when
they go off talking on their own - that just aren't true, for example,
when I was with you on the night
that you asked me if I was sad
because my eyes were heavy and wet with tears and I couldn't quite look at you straight on,
I was only sad
in the way that I was supposed to be
when I was there with you.)
Coline Senac
Apr 06, 2016 Coline Senac rated it it was amazing
Gabby Bess' poetry is simple as a tweet, by its honesty to express her daily feelings and thoughts. She is 'veritable' in a sense she talks as if you were already her friend simply by reading her, and you even seem to be her best confident. When you finish, you just want to add her on twitter to get news from her, as every friend does.
Mar 28, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
So perfect. As much about the dissonance you feel within yourself as it is about reality in all its dead-end strangeness. Also manages to be hilarious about these things, so yes, I will recommend it to everyone I know.
May 07, 2015 Cristhian rated it really liked it
Gabby escribe un tipo de poesía que más que ser contemporánea es poesía de blog. No importan las métricas porque no se tiene un espacio de escritura que encajone. Poesía es más un hecho de expresarse que un formato. Poesía es hablar de todo y nada a la vez. Poesía es estar solo con otras personas.
Ryan Holden
Jul 12, 2015 Ryan Holden rated it it was amazing
Stunning and sad, but also revealing and redeeming. I couldn't put this one down! And her words never left me. Gabby Bess is easily one of the best YA voices right now, earning her the rank of writers like Tao Lin.
Dec 05, 2016 aqilahzxs rated it really liked it
Amazing book. Words are beautiful written but at some point I feel like it was not necessary to include. It is my first time picking up a book by Gabby Bess and I am glad I did.
Bryony Rose
Nov 09, 2014 Bryony Rose rated it really liked it
"Is anyone moved by the plainness of raw skin anymore?"
a picture of a hyperconnected alienated twenty-something female experience
David Gwilliam
Jan 13, 2015 David Gwilliam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I love you
Michael Labone
Mar 13, 2016 Michael Labone rated it it was amazing
this book is essential. in parts it made me very sad and in other parts it made me feel introspective. female alt-lit will always be > than male alt-lit.
Emily Jamar
Jun 18, 2016 Emily Jamar rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016challenge
Christina Penland
Jul 11, 2014 Christina Penland rated it it was amazing
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"Comparisons to the films of Miranda July are also apt. Like July, Gabby’s work in Airplane Food has emotional resonance in its flattened language and framing. As I was reading Airplane Food I was often reminded of Miranda July’s film Me and You and Everyone You Know. The attempt to bridge the gap between art and life. To make art like life and life like art. And also the flattened language and fr ...more
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“I am on three different mood stabilizers so I don't think I experience a full range of emotions anymore. I feel abstractly dissatisfied with my life but mostly detached.” 2 likes
“She imagined the universe as a giant sad thing
that consistently felt alienated by itself because it was too large and too sad for anyone
to possibly understand it. Jane felt bad for the universe.
Maybe the universe needed her friends more than she did.”
More quotes…