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Theory of Orange Paperback – March 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Hip, funny, moving and at times bizarre, this first outing from the Yonkers, N.Y.–based Simon stitches together the elegiac with the entertaining, the fragmentarily outré with the clearly autobiographical: they make an attractive weave. The poems (almost all shorter than one page) include, as she phrases it, "getting-to-know-you-games," multiple tributes to summer camp and "family funerals." Several elegies appear to lament the friend and writer, dead at 21, to whom Simon dedicates the book. "Neither bitter nor embittered,/ non-eponymous but partially self-referential," Simon is also partial to self-portraits composed in apparently unrelated sentences; to in-jokes against writing-workshop platitudes ("No surprise for the writer,/ no surprise behind door number three there is never a car"); and to baffling one-line quips ("My blood is completely cheese"). She can wring comedy from nostalgia, and nostalgia from the detritus of modern childhood: "I hoped that/ by sending a box of twinkies/ you'd remember to remember me." Yet her flirtatious advertisements for herself double as postmodern queries into the dangerous culture of advertising, where men and women risk disappearing unless they find something new to say. (Feb.)
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