Darcie Wilder's literally show me a healthy person is a careful confession soaking in saltwater, a size B control top jet black pantyhose dragged over a skinned knee and slipped into unlaced doc martens. Blurring the lines of the written word, literally show me a healthy person is a portrait of a young girl, or woman, or something; grappling with the immediate and seemingly endless urge to document and describe herself and the world around her. Dealing with the aftermath of her mother's death, her father's neglect, and the chaotic unspoken expectations around her, this novel is a beating heart at the intersection of literature, poetry, and the internet. Darcie Wilder elevates and applies direct pressure, but the wound never stops bleeding.
Darcie Wilder is a New York-based writer. She graduated from SUNY Purchase Film Conservatory with a BFA in 2012. She wrote and directed the Emotional Pain interstitials, and wrote across platforms at MTV News,. Literally Show Me A Healthy Person is her second book. She was born in New York, where she still lives and will die.
On one hand, this is a postmodern montage of ideas in tweet-sized chunks, completely a product of the 21st century. It’s a series of fleeting observations and (occasionally funny) quips which amalgamate into a collage of self-deprecation, trauma, and sex. Cum is mentioned on almost every page.
But also I’ve never cringed so hard whilst reading a book, or felt so much second-hand embarrassment for the author. The cover quotes Scott McClanahan saying “This book is the future of writing” and if he’s right then I’m never reading anything again ever.
I liked this book a lot but also it felt like falling down the stairs and also now I want drugs. This book had more talking about straight sex and cum than I ever needed in my entire life, so I guess I can go live in my lesbian witch cave now forever, bye friends.
y'all need to stage an intervention to get me to stop reading this genre of "book" !!! i have not liked - so sad today - my year of rest and relaxation - you too can have a body like mine - surveys - and now this!
the next time i try to read a "post-postmodern" "book" about a solipsistic white girl who works at a dead-end job (but who's also somehow extremely privileged) and has mommy issues and self-medicates with meaningless hookups type-book please follow me around with a spray bottle and spritz me between the eyes with holy water until i learn my lesson
in my second year of university I took a writing course called "creative non-fiction" and the prof said that my writing was "funny and sad at the same time" and I was like "wow no one's ever said such a nice thing about me before" and I feel the same way about this book and that it is very high praise
in my fourth year of university I took an english course called "introduction to the novel" because I needed an elective and apparently I hate myself. we had to read to the lighthouse by virginia woolf and I could not even pretend to get through it so I wrote a paper about her use of parantheses in it and got 86%. in 100 years I wonder if kids in hologram-colleges will be forced to read this to understand literature during "The New Millenium" and someone will cheat like I did
this one's for anyone who made it through the bad times and came out of it (barely) alive (almost everyone probably)
Easy to digest with all its familiar self deprecation and sardonic humor, but I can't shake the feeling of sympathy for this girl who has been through so much and its has taken its toll on her. Sure the cover up of twitter style and the glamorized nonchalant speak of sex, death, and drug abuse almost amused me, but the truth of the fact held it very apparent that no, we need to stop glamorizing and semi-romanticizing our cries for help and trying to cope around them with detrimental things to flaunt it and actually deal with them. i hate the desperation to try and come off as "the cool girl" for the world instead of becoming "the better you" for yourself. The message in this book is bad and I hope people don't emulate it.
i was looking at the reviews and i noticed one by a girl who i went on a date with over a year ago but she didn’t like me back and id totally forgotten about her and now i feel awkward about that again. i relate to this book more now.
literally show me a healthy person is a novel born from coupling of twitter poetry and alt-lit; darcie wilder writes in tweet sized morsels, advancing perspective more than plot and using postmodern techniques like repetition to achieve a hyper realistic depiction of millenial melancholy. its the same thoughts repackaged obsessively, allowing themes to emerge and form a characterless portrait that hinges on narrative emotion and introspection tied to technology, sex, and death.
2nd read: there's a kind of way to read this book that looks like a detective tracing a conspiracy with red yarn attached between grandma dying, mom dying, giving head, 9/11, come, and dads having shitty attitudes. because you know what, IT'S ALL PART OF THE FABRIC OF LIFE.
3rd read: it's also laugh out loud funny. you can imagine thousands of people trying to imitate this and all of them failing pathetically.
I don't think I'm the intended audience for this book.
literally show me a healthy person is composed of nonlinear sound bytes (calling them tweets feels reductive, but I did feel like I was scrolling through Wilder's Twitter feed for most of it) about loss and sex and drugs and childhood trauma. I could identify specific recurring subjects-- the death of Darcie's mother, her former relationship with dude named Geoff, her father's negligence-- but the book's discussion of them was parsed with bits about miscellaneous sex and drug use anecdotes and grimdark 21st century internet humor that didn't seem to connect to anything.
The book felt very circular. There wasn't a sense of progress or plot. I could identify minor shifts in the narrator's thinking before and after certain events, but it's retrospective and confessional and I didn't come away understanding why any of the information was presented to me in the order it was. I got the impression it was supposed to imitate how like...the constancy of digital information normalizes and numbs us to violence, or something? but because the book is about a very specific set of experiences I found myself thinking, okay, we get it, a lot of things about your life sucked, what else is this book about, which is a terrible thing to find yourself thinking about someone's personal experiences!
On a technical level, there are a lot of plaintive descriptions of sex and violence that are maybe visceral and shocking the first time they come up if you've never read a Chuck Palahniuk novel but by ~ten pages in I was desensitized and again, wanted there to be something more happening, being said.
I'm struggling a little with how to discuss the narrator/author because it's in part a biographical text but it's been published as a work of fiction so the narrator is A Character. I have a lot of personal empathy for someone who experienced the events described in the book. As a character whose journey I was following, I found the narrator unsympathetic. The book was a lot of wallowing, and as often about things the narrator brought down on herself as the events she couldn't control.
Towards the end there's a bit where the narrator muses "i wonder if lesbians get called 'whore' during sex less" which ... I found annoying for a whole bunch of reasons but on a basic practical level: people who communicate that they don't want to be called "whore" during sex, and people who don't have sex they don't want to have, get called "whore" during sex less. Examples like this, juxtaposed with how clearly self-aware the narrator is at other times, made for a pretty frustrating read.
If you've ever wanted your stoned friends' texts to be a lot longer and more graphic then you will probably enjoy this book. Probably also if you can relate to the rich self-sabotaging drug/sex culture landscape Wilder depicts (rich as in both, life is a rich tapestry and if you can afford all the drugs you're talking about and that Times Square apartment there must be at least a couple of good things in your life). I personally didn't enjoy it, which is a bummer because I really wanted to and still think as a concept the book is pretty neat.
This book made me think a lot about how those of us who are Extremely Online express ourselves. Some combination of depression and anxiety and hope and humor and self-awareness and self-loathing and insecurity and irreverence that I wish I didn’t relate to so much but generally enjoyed reading.
In general I do like this kind of structure (I’ve enjoyed Sarah Manguso, Maggie Nelson, Katherine Angel, Tatiana Ryckman) but this was just not good. I can’t even say I’m not the intended audience. I’m a millennial and I’m on Twitter constantly. So I “get” it. I just don’t think it’s good. There are recurring themes but somehow no coherence. It gets old after about 10 pages and I struggled to get through it.
I don't even know how I feel about this one. On one level, I am definitely not cool enough to articulate how I feel about the structure and the fact that this is absolutely not a novel (at best, it's a memoir), but on another level it hit me harder than any book I've read recently. For a 97 page book with literally dozens of references to semen, it's weirdly emotional. I sort of want to read it 100 times more and also never again. I'm giving it 5 stars because it made me Feel Things and that's an achievement for a book that's not even 100 pages and mostly reads like someone's phone notes.
I find it interesting how self absorbed but broken Darcie is. This is definitely very tumblr-teenage-angsty, sometimes a bit too much, but this can’t not get 5 stars just just because the style of writing is brilliant and because I really am getting the feeling of getting to know her through her Twitter (I’m also wondering if it’s actually fictional or if she just published her old tweets??)
This book is what a book looks like if your Twitter stream was extracted and put onto a physical page. I liked it because it felt like stream of consciousness* but edited and curated for public audience? It’s a book that lays bare the weird strange thought processes we have and feel potentially compelled to share with an (online) audience ..
when i was 12 years old i went to six flags st louis and rode the mr freeze ride. it’s a roller coaster that’s fun little quirk was once it takes you to the highest point, it flings you through the ride backwards. i got whiplash after riding mr freeze because i didn’t know i was suppose to try and keep my back against the back of the seat, and instead i let my body fly around wherever the ride took me.
i had a similar experience reading wilder’s literally show me a healthy person. the cohesion across many of the tweet-like ramblings only appear the more you allow yourself to succumb to the whiplash. wilder explores desperation, loneliness, confusion, and grief alongside her recollections of ex boyfriends, ketamine, and cum.
One of the most obnoxious things I have read. I found the style off-putting but could have dealt with it if it had been compelling. Instead it sounded like a too-cool twenty-something gathered a bunch of "Shower Thoughts" off of reddit threw them around a loose narrative-type story. It felt pretentious and annoying to read.
I've been a fan of Darcie Wilder's twitter and instagram accounts for a while. I really enjoyed reading her debut novel Literally Show Me a Healthy Person. If you're a fan of Wilder's social media, you'll love this. She's one of the best contemporary voices working today.
Literally Show Me a Healthy Person is told in a stream-of-consciousness style, narrated by a character also called Darcie. Punctuation and capitalization are sparse. It's funny and searingly honest. I identified with it and found much of it relatable. It's short (just under a hundred pages) but I loved so many lines and passages that my copy is bursting with flag notes. It's like a collection of truth epigraphs.
This novel deals with trauma, addiction, pain, and torment yet it reads like a dream. Dysfunctional, unhappy family life is at the heart of novel. Wilder's voice is so wry and knowing. It really captures obsessive, swirling thoughts. Certain experiences that have stuck with Darcie keep popping into her mind. Formative experiences, traumatic experiences, and troubling memories keep resurfacing.
The writing zings; it had me reading along in recognition. Wilder's voice is so distinctive and very much her own. She expresses herself so well, from irreverent observations to the bizarre to uncomfortable personal truths. It's nonlinear, but in the end we've followed an arc with Darcie. The recurring themes are very well executed. I loved the ending. I love how unfiltered and uncensored Wilder is. Literally Show Me a Healthy Person is great.
definitely not for everyone, especially the faint of heart (and profanity). kathy acker's unbridled ugliness with renata adler's/twitter's fragmented structure. the recurring themes are interwoven so well with truly deranged non sequiturs. it might not seem like there's a plot, but look a little closer and you'll see it. great quick read.
Le doy dos estrellas porque me ha dado mucha rabia que un libro de tweets y notas haya tenido tanto éxito (y los míos no tengan tanta repercusión). Además, me he sentido reflejada en algunos fragmentos y eso no me ha molado. ¿Soy una persona tóxica? Espero que no.
Millennial-nihilist stream of consciousness writing like this makes me so anxious. getting sick of this genre, need to move on from essays/poetry that revolve around “shitty parents/teen hood, drugs, sex, blah blah, depression” .... gettin saturated