Sunday, September 19, 2010

Letters to Emma Bowlcut by Bill Callahan

(Drag City) Normally the novel in letter form is only slightly less lazy than the novel as adolescent girl's diary form, which seems to be the only existing form of kid lit these days. That said, if the letter writer is super weird, kind of funny, interested in violence, and Vortex-connected, you are dealing with an atypical reading experience. Throughout this jaunty novelette the reader is not sure if the writer of this (to our eyes) one-sided correspondence is fantasizing the long distance romance, deftly manipulating it, or being destroyed by it. Whatever the case, I learned at least one thing from this book. Never include in a love letter the phrase: "Do women get hairier with age."

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