Someday This Will Be Funny by Lynne Tillman

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The stories in Some Day This Will Be Funny marry memory to moment in a union of narrative form as immaculate and imperfect as the characters damned to act them out on page. Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, presides over the ceremony; Clarence Thomas, Marvin Gaye, and Madame Realism mingle at the reception. Narrators – by turn infamous and nameless – shift within their own skin, struggling to unknot reminiscence from reality while scenes rush into warm focus, then cool, twist, and snap in the breeze of shifting thought. Epistle, quotation, and haiku bounce between lyrical passages of lucid beauty, echoing the scattered, cycling arpeggio of Tillman’s preferred subject: the unsettled mind. Collectively, these stories own a conscience shaped by oaths made and broken; by the skeleton silence and secrets of family; by love’s shifting chartreuse. They traffic in the quiet images of personal history, each one a flickering sacrament in danger of being swallowed up by the lust and desperation of their possessor: a fistful of parking tickets shoved in the glove compartment, a little black book hidden from a wife in a safe-deposit box, a planter stuffed with flowers to keep out the cooing mourning doves. They are stories fashioned with candor and animated by fits of wordplay and invention – stories that affirm Tillman’s unshakable talent for wedding the patterns and rituals of thought with the blushing immediacy of existence, defying genre and defining experimental short fiction.

About Lynne Tillman

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Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and critic. Her fiction includes the novels Haunted Houses, Motion Sickness, Cast in Doubt, and No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction. Tillman's art and literary criticism has been published in Artforum, Frieze, Aperture, Nest, the Village Voice, The Guardian, Bomb, and The New York Times Book Review. She has written stories for the artists' books and catalogues of a variety of contemporary artists, including Kiki Smith, Juan Munoz, Jessica Stockholder, Barbara Kruger, Roni Horn, and Vik Muniz. Her most recent story collection, This Is Not It, appeared in 2002. Tillman's new novel, American Genius, A Comedy, will be published in October by Soft Skull Press.
Published April 22, 2011 by Red Lemonade. 178 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Someday This Will Be Funny

The New York Times

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If the most notable attribute of her writing is a sentence so unpredictable and generative that it constantly propels the story inward to reveal the rapid associations of its author’s mind — at once familiar to us and yet unmappable — what may be most memorable in her stories are those zinger mom...

Jun 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Someday This Will Be Funny

Publishers Weekly

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Tillman's gorgeous and potent latest (after American Genius) finds the innovative author embracing diverse, imaginative forms in these often brief but always intriguing tales.

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Someday This Will Be Funny

New York Journal of Books

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If author Lynne Tillman were writing recipes and not short fiction, she no doubt would insist that all ingredients be fresh, crisp, and organic—because her short stories are of the sort that seem very much of-the-moment, as if they were just harvested from the fertile fields of her imagination.

Apr 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Someday This Will Be Funny

Time Out Chicago

Where stream-of-consciousness writing luxuriates in disorder, Tillman’s remains penned, and where so much first-person narration presents thoughts as though they arrive neatly packaged, Tillman’s contain an element of surprise and, in some cases, danger.

May 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Someday This Will Be Funny

The Nervous Breakdown

Tillman’s Clarence Thomas sees himself a “runaway slave” who was “dragged [ ] down” by a woman for D.C.’s “delectation.” Although Tillman is clearly not a fan of Thomas, she is careful to give us his perspective without making a parody of it.

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Someday This Will Be Funny

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