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Book Review of "No One Belongs Here More Than You"

 by Miranda July

Miranda July is already an actress, screenwriter and artist, and now this darling of the indie scene truly does it all as she publishes her first book of short stories, No one belongs here more than you.


At times sexy, painfully awkward, appalling and delightful, July opens windows into the lives of seemingly ordinary people – people who work at printing companies and purse factories, people who are students and secretaries.  These people who might otherwise lead completely unremarkable lives, however, are often found making choices that are either quirky and unconventional or completely uncalled for. 


From the couple who build their own basement within their small apartment (Something that Needs Nothing) to the swimming instructor who uses bowls of water for lack of a pool (The Swim Team), July manages to beautifully capture the joy and heartbreak of her characters in little butterfly nets and pins them down on the pages for us to read. 


A couple learns the art of wordless communication while working as extras in a movie’s restaurant scene, and break up while having a wordless conversation (Mon Plaisir).  An unusual family attends counseling that only makes their situation more complex and uncomfortable (How to Tell Stories to Children).  A man learns to love his wife’s imperfection after it’s gone (Birthmark).  Though not every story is sparklingly memorable, Miranda July almost always breaks, then resets her readers’ hearts with this stunning debut collection.


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