Shudderingly good book of short stories. Each story is told from the 1st person perspective: the woman who lusts after the lawn boy and swallows him when they kiss (cum shooting from her mouth at the dinner table after he masturbates inside her!); the pudding that sits on the kitchen floor for a month as family tensions ebb and flow; the chef who falls for a girl and whose existence revolves around finding out her name; the woman whose lover falls to pieces: thumb falls off, hair in clumps, legs, until he is a pile of bones arranged on the bed and shouting at her new lover (through her?); the woman who grows teeth all over her body and who receives gold caps from her dentist affair; the man who saves Max the lobster from certain death by dining in the airport; the baby blanket that transports the man into a stupor of well-being and which he can’t escape even after weighting down and tossing into the lake. Each story well-written, engaging, different, all with various personal issues of trust and intimacy.
From the lobster story:
“I leaned against a cement pillar across the corridor and tried to read my paper. But I couldn’t stop looking over at Max. He looked so sad. I was startled by a hand on my arm. A short woman, twenty-five maybe, looked up at me. ‘You’re right about that lobster,’ she said. ‘It’s inhumane. I’m a vegan myself.’
“I nodded, then noticed her looking at my hand to see if I had a ring and clenched my jaw to keep from asking her if she wanted a cup of coffee, or for her phone number. I saw the satisfied smile of my therapist. ‘Getting involved with a woman at the airport. Perfect.’ he’d say, tapping his fingers on the teak coffee table that my twelve years of therapy helped to finance. ‘She’ll fly off and you’ll never see her again.’ The woman could tell by my polite smile, and the silent language that single people speak to one another, that we weren’t going anywhere. She said good luck and walked off with her Le Sportsac. Who knows? Maybe she was the one. Probably not.” (p 127)
Recommended by Andrea Seigel