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No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories Paperback – May 6, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's a testament to July's artistry that the narrators of this arresting first collection elicit empathy rather than groans. "Making Love in 2003," for example, follows a young woman's dubious trajectory from being the passive, discarded object of her writing professor's attentions to seducing a 14-year-old boy in the special-needs class she teaches, while another young woman enters the sex industry when her girlfriend abandons her, with a surprising effect on the relationship. July's characters over these 16 stories get into similarly extreme situations in their quests to be loved and accepted, and often resort to their fantasy lives when the real world disappoints (which is often): the self-effacing narrator of "The Shared Patio" concocts a touching romance around her epilectic Korean neighbor; the aging single man of "The Sister" weaves an elaborate fantasy around his factory colleague Victor's teenage sister (who doesn't exist) to seduce someone else. July's single emotional register is familiar from her film Me and You and Everyone We Know, but it's a capacious one: wry, wistful, vulnerable, tough and tender, it fully accommodates moments of bleak human reversals. These stories are as immediate and distressing as confessionals. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Miranda July's impressive accomplishments include two exhibits at the Whitney Biennial, an award-winning film (Me and You and Everyone We Know), two albums on the record label Kill Rock Stars, and now her praised collection of short stories (encouraged by her literary mentor Rick Moody). The stories, previously published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper's, Tin House, and other literary journals, won July praise as "a strange and compelling new voice" (Seattle Times). Even those who found the collection uneven and the narrative voices of each story eerily similar admire the best ones as "funny and insightful, offering moments of utter heartbreak through deeper, more sophisticated storytelling" (New York Times Book Review).

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Featured Author: Miranda July
Read an excerpt and reader's guide from Miranda July's No One Belongs Here More Than You, one of our Editors' Picks for Best Books of 2007.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743299418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743299411
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Gina Pell on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are some very private, strangely beautiful moments in these short stories. It's an almost perfect little tome although a writer friend of mine made a very interesting observation. He said that he often felt that Miranda's quirkiness superseded substance as was the case in "The Swimming Lesson." In retrospect I agree with him but I still loved this book and bought copies to give to friends. It's worth a read.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By BraMaster on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I kind of had a secret crush on Miranda July after watching her delightful film "You and Me and Everyone We Know". After reading this book though, the shine is beginning to wear off.

I enjoyed the first few stories of this book, but was more than ready to move on to something else by the end. Her stories aren't so much stories in the traditional sense, but more like quirky, silly things that come into her mind that's written into a stream of consciousness which then don't really have endings in the traditional sense either. All of this could be fine, but every story is just so precious and kooky there's no ground of normalcy to stand on.

There are times though when she really captures the small things in life. There were some instances where she's describing the small behaviors of couples interactions that really connected with me, as I felt I'd had similar experiences that I'd never seen written out like that. I do love her creativity, as this book is like nothing else that I've read. I just wish there would have been a bit more substance in place of some of her Miranda July-ness.

Also, something that annoyed me was how her dialogue never ends with "so and so said". It's just paragraph after paragraph of characters dialogue, and sometimes I had to go back and figure out which character was saying what. Why does she do that? It's kooky I guess.

All in all, this book is best in small doses. Read a chapter here and there, and you'll probably have some fun. Otherwise, you may overdose on twee.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Summers on July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
These are charming, but ultimately forgettable stories. The book feels a little like the adventures of one character (who is definitely female), although there are many different characters who feature throughout. I didn't get a really distinct sense of voice for each character, nor was I carried into their worlds as completely as I'd hoped to be. Some of the stories felt a little contrived, or like they were trying too hard to be quirky.

I'm going to go watch the film, instead.
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47 of 64 people found the following review helpful By jqln on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this because of the feature length film, but where the film was potent and endearing, this was so-so. The quirkiness of the characters and bizarre dialogue is much the same style as Miranda's other work, but after a while it becomes insipid. In a filmic medium Miranda uses timing masterfully to create awkwardness, but this quality isn't to be found in her short stories. Granted, I appreciate and admire her ability to rotate mediums, and this book brings you to a closer understanding of her vision, but her writing doesn't necessarily excite me. Despite this, if you love Miranda's other work, you will probably enjoy reading this. If this is your first time encountering Miranda, I suggest first watching "Me and You and Everyone We Know".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Miller on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
This collection of short stories is very intimate and raw. I have to admit that Miranda July's writing makes me uncomfortable, but it also rings true. Maybe it's good to be made to feel uncomfortable. To have someone ask the hard questions without offering answers.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Elevate Difference on July 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: I'm a longtime fan of and contributor to Miranda July's collaborative website, Learning To Love You More. Last year's Me and You and Everyone We Know is a film I regularly dream of making. So despite my anticipation of July's premiere short story collection and real fascination and appreciation for her work as a writer, filmmaker and performer; I give this anthology a centrist's recommendation. If you aren't familiar with July's media, suffice to say she's one of the more brilliant working artists of her generation, and this collection wouldn't be the worst place to get acquainted. I'd just probably recommend a smaller dose of her quirky formula.

One of July's greatest strengths is her ability to tease out the strangeness of everyday life and the bizarre interactions we take for granted. While in this compendium she certainly includes the usual intense encounters - the return of a once-removed birthmark or tragedy involving the people with whom she is forced to share an apartment patio - most of the stories in No One Belongs Here More Than You are full of awkward sexual interactions or unrequited fantasies. Not bad or even or out of character, I still found myself yearning for more offbeat anecdotes and metaphors than lustful musings. However, what I do cherish are July's introspective reflections on love: women who cry together in group romance therapy, informal childcare surrogacy, the couple who knew subconsciously they would sacrifice each other in the face of a killer, taking a sewing class to spy on your boss's mysterious wife. My favorite story, "This Person," also drew to mind a 1999 Dismemberment Plan song, "You Are Invited." Random reference, I know, but the two are so comparable, if you like the story "This Person," you'll love the song too.
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