A few nights later, I secretly hope that I might be a genius. Why else can no amount of sleeping pills fell my brain? But in the morning my daughter asks me what a cloud is and I cannot say.
I walked down to Content Bookstore during lunch today. If you're anywhere near Northfield, you should stop at Content. You can visit Blue Monday or El Triunfo on the same trip.
I wish I was the type of person to love Dept. of Speculation. This type of person is cooler than me (also more artistic and romantic). Published in 2014, Dept. of Speculation was a PEN/Faulkner nominee and was also included in the NYT Top Ten Books of the Year. It's super strange (not a conventional novel), though there are beautiful parts. The format of the book reminds me of Clemmons' What We Lose -- Offill strings together sentence fragments, random reflections, and lengthy declarations to create her narrative. Another goodreads user aptly described Dept. of Speculation as a "literary scrapbook." The story follows a faltering marriage during the early years of parenthood. Most of the book is from the wife's point of view (she remains unnamed-- Offill refers to her as "the wife"). The wife is a writer, but has no time to write once her daughter is born. Turns out caring for a child gets in the way of artistic expression and the wife is mad about it. The husband, who also remains nameless, is a disloyal jerk who doesn't help around the house enough.
While the format of the book is completely unique, the themes in Dept. of Speculation feel tired. I've read too many books about middle income white artists who have a kid and then get pissed because there is no time to do art. Cry me a river. Maybe you shouldn't have procreated in the first place. Or maybe you should make your significant other put down the video game and cook dinner for once. This stuff doesn't pull at my heart strings like it used to. So that's that. Probably a smart / creative/ artsy book. Not for me.