Because I Don't Know What You Mean and What You Don't

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Because I Don't Know What You Mean and What You Don't

Because I Don't Know What You Mean and What You Don't

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It's almost all first person present tense, with some stories written to a 'you' or with the love interest slipping between 'he' and 'you' as mood requires; I thought there were stories that Long could have toyed with a little and tried in third person and/or past tense, just to challenge herself and see where they took her. Now I’m getting shit from the far right and Terfs [trans-exclusionary radical feminists],” she says – with her support for charity Mermaids making her a public target for anti-trans crusader Graham Linehan, before his eventual Twitter ban. The book closes with the hopeful optimism of a young mother, demanding of the world her children are being brought up in that it be a good one, by their rules. About ten years ago I spoke to Canongate and said I would love to do this and they were so supportive but it took me another three years before I actually started.

But now, she’s also siphoned some of her complicated feelings about leaving London into a new book of short stories, Because I don’t know what you mean and what you don’t.

The stories were mainly the soft thought provoking type, with a lot of interiority and reflection, not too much on the comic front. Also, this is not an uplifting book - some of the themes are a little dark, and many of the stories deal with insecurity at some level. They’ve usually got fancy covers or clever titles, and I’m often drawn in by the promise of all the different themes they’ll cover in seemingly few pages. And then there’s another one about a kid in a violent home where it’s mostly hidden and in my life I had experiences of living in a stressful environment, shall we say, and writing it had a kind of nightmarish quality for me.

The last story, in particular, felt very personal as the narrator reflects on bringing children into the world as it is today. Part of the strategy seems to be to insist that this is not “made up stuff”, but is happening to real people in the real world. It was going to be about my romantic experiences, then the more I wrote it became everything I had to offer.Best surely is the piece regarding a charged attack on the upper middle classes, from two young women determined to get their slice.

I’m about to get on ADHD medication and think that will mean I’m able to command the focus when I want it and hopefully for me that will mean that I can get more done. There's also Long's occasional glitch where the story explains itself to the reader, the way a radio essay or stand-up routine might make its message explicit - in a couple of the stories here it feels heavy-handed (not least because some of the stories have italicised sections at the end explaining the sources and quotes the ideas come from. Also I’m somebody who didn’t have a strong connection with nature growing up and discovering it has been life changing. So, “Forgetting” uses quotes from the activist Jonathan Moses, “The Patron Saint Of Lost Causes” is prefaced by a snippet from Greta Thunberg, and another uses Instagram messages from two sources, both about coercive control.With fiction, even though it starts in fact, you might add to it, just to make it this thing, to enjoy the story and its richness.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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