Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “waar was ik goed voor in jouw leven” as Want to Read:
waar was ik goed voor in jouw leven
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

waar was ik goed voor in jouw leven

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  810 ratings  ·  117 reviews
We zijn online iemand anders dan in real life: in waar was ik goed voor in jouw leven laat Marie Calloway zien wat er gebeurt als de grenzen tussen de virtuele wereld en de echte vervagen. Is zij het zelf die als een intellectueel experiment haar lichaam verkoopt aan mannen die ze op internet heeft leren kennen? Of is het toch 'maar' een personage dat toevallig dezelfde na ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 2014 by Atlas Contact (first published May 17th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  810 ratings  ·  117 reviews

More filters
Sort order

All of the stories in this book are about sex. This book, however, should not be mistaken for erotica. It is more about the perception of sex, and the degrading experiences of sex itself, sex as a commodity, and being treated as a commodity in literature about sex.

The book itself alternates between stories which blur the line between fiction and nonfiction, as well as thankfully blurred photographs and Facebook screenshots with the name censored. There are also segments with slurs and an
Mar 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's frustrating about this book is that you can see the potential. This is the kind of writing that will always get a reaction because it is as painful as it is provocative. Calloway is either fearless or terrifying or both in how she exposes herself in these stories? Or are they essays? There's something interesting going on here about the sexuality of young women and the intentions of men but just when Calloway starts to get to the really interesting stuff, these piece abruptly end, leaving ...more
Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

I didn't really know anything about Marie Calloway before I read this book. I'd heard her name, and I had heard of her well-known story 'Adrien Brody' (though I hadn't read it), but I was (and remain) largely ignorant of the minimalist literary 'scene' she is part of. I mention this because it means I can't really assess what purpose did i serve in your life in context, only on its own merits as a standalone piece of work.

Calloway's writing is mat
This is a good book that's rather painful to read. I think it will pose a challenge to most readers, unless you take the obvious easy approach--which is to dismiss it--or unless you are one of the people who only like to read books that you can relate to, and you do somehow relate to this one (if so... sorry).

To me the book is alien and alienating, but it portrays a person that needs to be portrayed. It has truthiness.

Speaking of the easy solution, which is to dismiss this book, I almost did dis
I got into Marie Calloway last year, because of Momus. (If I were 15 years younger it probably would have been the other way round.) The flat style of the Muumuu House / alt-lit school of internet-focused writers isn't one I especially like. So when I say "got into", I mean I became somewhat fascinated by her, not in the most enjoyable of ways, because she reminded me of aspects of my younger self and because the debate surrounding her, and her responses to it raise some interesting questions.

Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The conversation about this book seems to tend toward (and against) who the author is, what is she doing, how she is failing -- even as the stories and collages complicate that by showing (1) how cruel such a reading is, (2) how unqualified most of us are to offer such judgments, and (3 and most importantly) how off-base and unnecessary it is to consider the author of this book at all. Case in point, she doesn't comment on what readers say about her in "Criticism."

I think the most interesting w
Jasmine Woodson
I don't understand how anyone could deem this 'pornographic'. I don't know. In "sex work, experience one", she writes about feeling relief at the dude's "two pump chump" swiftness. Like, that's all I would think one would need to arrive at some semblance of 'getting it'.

(...I'm trying to write this, to talk about this book in the way it deserves, without hemorrhaging personal information, and it's hard.)

It's very strange to me, the reactions to her work as if she's pushing some third wave sex-em
It's dangerous for me to comment on this. Some reviewers (see Sarah Nicole Prickett's contemptuous attack on Stephen Marche's Esquire review) are clear that no one male and over 30 should be allowed to like, dislike, or comment on Marie Calloway's work or (presumed) life. Nonetheless, I've been reading Calloway's work since the first web furor over her "Adrien Brody", and I did rather like "What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life".

The "alt-lit"/Tao Lin style that seems to turn so many readers off
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Hemingway was such a whore.” This is one sentence you’ll never hear even though Hemingway, like most modern novelists, wrote explicitly about his sex life in autobiographical prose that was very loosely veiled fiction. Like, it wasn’t so much a veil as a thin piece of leaky latex. But when contemporary women write about their sex lives without the pretense of fiction, they don’t get their books added to university syllabi. They’re rarely called daring or profound. They’re usually called narciss ...more
131018: i like it. the content is neither offensive nor new, but the format intrigues such digital naïf as me, the artistic ambition intrigues, and of course this perhaps ironic view of the present world and of present sexual and literary relationships, from perspective of a young woman i do not know, intrigues as well. she writes clear prose perhaps obviously trying to escape burdens of received knowledge and trying to find meaning in direct experiences recounted. she writes deliberately emotio ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really know what to say about this book, which is, I suppose, one way of talking about it. These stories are choked with sex and (often) quiet brutality, told in a voice both panicked and yet tinged with self-assurance. Calloway's writing is sometimes charming, sometimes a bit lifeless, and sometimes somehow a little of both. I don't know if Calloway is the next "great" thing in writing, and this collection actually seems a little out of character in the Tyrant Books catalog, but it was ...more
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
disconcertingly brilliant or brilliantly disconcerting? both, and all the way through.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some things in this book that confuse me, but the parts of it I love I adore so much that they alone earn every one of these stars. OK, here, let me be unbearably narcissistic and quote myself:
"Reading the sex work episode in marie calloways’ book, and am heartened by her lack of scruples about noting down how she made every mistake in the book. And I know some might find this irritating about her writing, but I’m a great fan for her eye for the banality of the vast majority of interac
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013, novels
Awkwardness is the last acceptable signifier of authenticity. We are meant to believe that authenticity is rare, pure, all-powerful and essential to our existences. But as methods of proclaiming authenticity become commodified and made inauthentic, the options becomes narrower. Basically, the only thing left is making other people uncomfortable with a sincere inability to NOT make them uncomfortable. Continuing to be awkward after is has been publicly noted that you are awkward will enrage some ...more
This book is just blood and guts. Pure, pathological exhibitionism. It's like jumping into the mind of a fucked up girl who knows she's fucked up and wants you to see her fuckedupness from every possible angle. It's uncomfortable at first - a parade of sexual degradation, tortured insecurity, and blatant masochism. But then you start to understand how her brain works and how it feels to be so unreasonably needy and difficult and self-hating and how good she is at showing you the gnarly underbell ...more
May 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, small-press
The author's allergy to artifice makes these autobiographical stories of sex and degradation almost grindingly dull. As a character and a construct, Calloway fascinates. Who would expose themselves like this? To what purpose? But aside from serving as a cautionary tale regarding the perils of the Internet, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from this.
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

a little hesitant to write about this book

a little afraid that it's one of those books that
if I find out you don't like it, I won't like you—
as much

I have more to say, though,
Jay Gabler
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. In The Tangential, I wrote ten possible first paragraphs of a review.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book today and saw this in the description of it on goodreads:
"It is a brave and pitiless examination of yearning in an era of hyper-exposure and a riveting account of the moments of transcendence seized from an otherwise blank world."

I actually picked it up totally unknowing of the tao lin/calloway phenomenon, which might be a good thing. I've since done a little research.
I should clarify that I think she's a good writer. I also think it's a little depressing that a good writer
Tom Bensley
I kind of feel weird about how I feel about this book. I feel like I've just finished reading something that is absolutely a masterpiece, something I've never come across before and know I could now only ever come across pale imitations of it. The attention Marie Calloway has received is phenomenal and known to anyone who goes to literary places on the internet, but a huge amount of it is negative; lots of name-calling and slut-shaming, disregarding her writing, writing her off as a pseudo-intel ...more
No idea how to rate this one, but I'll take a stab at it.

This is simultaneously sad and repulsive but vulnerable and relatable, so fascinating and predictable and dull, so weakly strung together but fragile as well. I both want to be the person who slaps her and comforts her, then feel slapped myself. This book is exhausting and hollow and vacuous as well as physical and concrete and full of weak breaths between desperate words.

You ever have those friends you know who just continue to do the sam
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dared-not-finish
I decided to check out this book because I liked the title. Yeah. I didn't know anything about Marie Calloway and if I did I'd probably be one of the detractors she quotes so heavily in the book. There is no context for anything, it just has this very New York attitude of "you already know all about me because everyone knows all about me" and is very navel-gazey. She is smart at times, or presents herself that way (like in "Adrien Brody" she at least has an adult vocabulary), but the screen shot ...more
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is experimental fiction in the vein of Chris Kraus' I Love Dick mixed with an element of Dennis Cooper's masochism. It is experimental in the sense that the narrator "Marie Calloway" incorporates (or appears to incorporate) Gchats, FB posts, and critical reviews of (and responses to) her controversial story "Adrien Brody," a first person account of a sexual encounter with a literary idol. The author becomes the character, or almost indistinguishable from the character in the critical review ...more
Nicholaus Patnaude
While perhaps not entirely sophisticated formally as a finished (or even enjoyable) product, what interested/fascinated me was the odd amalgam of disposable source material and the questioning/moving forward of our preconceptions of what a novel should or could be. While some authors work is thinly-veiled autobiography (tao lin's taipei), this book literally reprints evidence of social media to prove Calloway isn't pulling a James Frey (unless they were doctored). Still, I found the long section ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
dumb dumb dumb...pointless drivel of a insecure girl trying to get men to like her through sex..anybody can write in a journal and call it a book...boring..
Josh Boardman
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to interact with this book a little bit. I have thankfully shielded myself from most of the press and internet criticism of this book, save two reviews on flavorwire: one rather negative that, as I look back on it now, completely missed the point, and another positive, written by a friend of Marie Calloway's, which was wholly dissatisfying for it's personal defense of the author and relatively low level of text interaction. I don't know Marie and I don't have any vendetta. When Adrien ...more
Christopher Stevenson
What she does is what she's supposed to do. A cross between Mary Gaitskill and Charles Bukowski, although, arguably not as controversial as they were for their times. Short of what her real identity is, I'd say she's not a mystery at all, but rather she explains it well on the page. She's a little girl--in her mind. And even if she isn't, she seems to want to be. She wants to be pretty, and loved, and be a princess, but also none of these things.

I think on some level her thoughts are of what flo
“I’m smart at some things but not with people or at growing up.”

For what purpose did I read this book? Curiosity, I guess, maybe a little bit of voyeurism. “what purpose did i serve in your life” is fascinating and unsettling, banal and disturbing. A collection of pieces previously serialized on various websites, I became aware of the debate surrounding these stories online as well. The pseudonymous author and narrator, Marie Calloway (a name that seems to evoke youngness) was roundly attacked a
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's tough for me to make an authoritative statement on Marie Calloway's what purpose did i serve in your life. I don't think it's as simple as prose on a page. It's not a question of whether it's good prose or bad prose. It isn't poetry. It isn't a story or a collection of stories. It isn't a memoir, it isn't "about sex," it isn't even a social experiment in the literal sense of the term. I don't know if I believe that people who have never lived in the body and mind of a young woman can truly ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Alone with Other People
  • Selected Unpublished Blog Posts of a Mexican Panda Express Employee
  • Even Though I Don't Miss You
  • You Private Person
  • Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs
  • Black Cloud
  • Richard Yates
  • During My Nervous Breakdown I Want to Have a Biographer Present
  • Rontel
  • Eat When You Feel Sad
  • Stories V!
  • Sky Saw
  • Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries
  • Best Behavior
  • Normally Special
  • The Middle Stories
See similar books…
Marie Calloway (born 1990) is an American author. Her first book, what purpose did i serve in your life? was published by Tyrant Books. Calloway grew up in Japan and Oregon. She currently lives in New York.
“I started to wonder, and felt relieved that there might be truth to the idea of intellectuals all being frauds. I knew that I certainly was.” 13 likes
More quotes…