Book Review of No One Belongs Here More Than you

By: Jessie Davis

Miranda July has already achieved small-scale success as an actress, screenwriter and artist, and with the release of her first anthology of short stories, No one belongs here more than you, this indie princess truly demonstrates that the sky's the limit.

At times provocative, achingly uncomfortable, alarming and adorable, July gives readers a peek into the lives of apparently regular people - people who work at printing shops and handbag factories, people who go to school and drop out. These people who perhaps would lead unremarkably simple lives, however, are often make discoveries and choices that are either peculiar and disarming or inherently wrong.

From the couple who build a basement inside their small apartment (Something that Needs Nothing) to the swimming teacher who uses bowls of water instead of a pool (The Swim Team), July marvelously captures the elation and suffering of her characters in tiny butterfly nets and pins them down in this album for readers to enjoy.

A couple breaks up without speaking while working as background diners in a movie's restaurant scene (Mon Plaisir). An unorthodox family goes to therapy that only further corrodes their situation (How to Tell Stories to Children). A man misses his wife's abnormality after it's gone (Birthmark). Two women come together, then part after a workshop that promises the discovery of true romance (It Was Romance). Though not every story is memory-making, Miranda July consistently breaks, then resets her readers' hearts with this impressive debut collection.

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