Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin: portrayal of the feminine

Why should you read this book?

Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin is a short story collection, published in 2018, that revolves around the lives of several women and girls. These are ordinary women leading ordinary lives that suddenly start to feel a smoldering frenzy inside. Although their experiences are different, they all share some characteristics: they’re middle-class white women.

I liked this short story collection. Lazarin is a great writer who thinks and rethinks her sentences. The rhythm is slow, quiet. But you can feel the storm arising in the minds of these characters. The prose is clear and solid so you develop a relationship of trust towards this book, the author. Some of my favorites tales were Appetite, Spider Legs and American Men in Paris I Did Not Love.

I felt a bit underwhelmed by this book, though. It was definitely an interesting read but left me wanting more; like I was expecting something that never truly came. Let’s see what Lazarin has in store for us in the future! I am definitely intrigued!

If you’re looking to read more short story collections told by a female point of view, I guess you could try this one out! I’d like to thank Penguin Random House for the free copy. You can buy it here.

“We called our mothers by their first names only in their absence. We were still good girls then, but even if we’d been brave enough to try, we wouldn’t have known what to rebel against.”

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Summary

From an award-winning writer, a stunning collection of stories about women’s unexpressed desires and needs, and the unexpected ways they resurface.

In “Floor Plans,” a woman at the end of her marriage tests her power when she inadvertently befriends the neighbor trying to buy her apartment. In “Appetite,” a sixteen-year old grieving her mother’s death experiences first love and questions how much more heartbreak she and her family can endure. In “Dinosaurs,” a recent widower and a young babysitter help each other navigate how much they have to give—and how much they can take—from the people around them.

Through stories that are at once empathetic and unexpected, these women and girls defiantly push the boundaries between selfishness and self-possession. With a fresh voice and bold honesty, Back Talk examines how narrowly our culture allows women to express their desires.

Taken from the publisher’s website.

Book Details:
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published on: February 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Price: $16.00

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