Valerie Trueblood Recommends

deadbirds.jpg“I came upon Wesley Gibson’s You Are Here with delight,” Trueblood says. “It’s a hilarious, energizing misery-fest of a book, about the attempt to live and write in New York when you arrive not so young as all that and without the cushioning illusions, with good work already behind you, and have to be, every day, younger, sexier and way cooler than you feel. Gibson knows how to fake being an upbeat guy; he is a bumbling knight to his writing students (one of the jobs to which he brings his guarded-against born tenderness is teaching four adult students on Saturday in an elementary schoolroom). The jobs appear and fade, his own work goes on behind the scenes as he struggles to make a living, a potential landlord finds him “not gay enough,” the apartment he takes (or that takes him) gives him, and us, the lonesome shivers, the roommate–here the book begins to soar–the afflicted roommate coughs his way into our hearts. You Are Here, a Memoir of Arrival: it’s a sad book, full of joy, the joy of life and of sentences like this: ‘Then she gave me a smile that was as slow as six deliberate paper cuts.'”

Valerie Trueblood is a writer based in Seattle. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The Northwest Review, and One Story, among others. Her first book, a novel in stories, will come out this year from Little, Brown.

If you’d like to recommend an underappreciated book for this series, please send mail to llalami at yahoo dot com.

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