Gayle Brandeis Recommends

“Diane Schoemperlen’s In the Language of Love: A Novel in 100 Chapters is structured around the 100 stimulus words from the Standard Word Association Test. Each of these words– words like “soft”, “mutton”, “priest”, “red”, “needle”, “thirsty”–becomes a jumping off place for Schoemperlen to explore the different forms of love (as child, as mother, as wife, as lover) in her character Joanna’s life. While such a structure could feel like a gimmick in the wrong hands, Schoemperlen uses it to frame a strange and beautiful meditation on the wayward ways of the heart.”

Gayle Brandeis is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write and The Book of Dead Birds: A Novel, which won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change. Her second novel, Self Storage, was recently published by Ballantine.